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Aihmari? Annals 





Foreword 1 

Albemarle Union 2 

Albemarle 7 

Athens Chapel 8 

Bath 10 

Beaver Dam 12 

Belhaven 14 

Berea 17 

Bethlehem IS 

Cabin Swamp 20 

Christian Chapel 21 

Christian Hope 22 

Columbia 23 

Cross Landing 26 

Edenton 26 

Elizabeth Chapel _ 28 

Elizabeth City __ 29 

Engelhard 31 

Eunice Chapel 33 

Everetts 33 

Fairfield 35 

Fairview 37 

Gold Point 38 

Gospel Light 39 

Gum Neck 41 

Hassell 42 

Haw Branch 44 

Holly Neck 44 

Hunters Bridge 45 

Jamesville 47 

Jarvisburg 49 

Long Acre Chapel 50 

Macedonia 51 

Maple Grove 53 


Middleton 54 

Mt. Olive 55 

Mt. Pleasant (Hyde) 57 

Mt. Pleasant (Pitt) __ __ 58 

Nazareth 60 

New Lake 60 

Oak City 61 

Oak Grove 62 

Old Ford 64 

Pamlico Chapel 66 

Pantego 67 

Phillippi 69 

Pinetown 71 

Pleasant Grove __ 72 

Plymouth 73 

Popular Chapel __. 7 6 

Powell's Point 78 

Robersonville 79 

Rosemary 82 

St. Clairs Creek__ 82 

Saints Delight _ 83 

Scranton 85 

Scuppernong 8 6 

Stokes 87 

Swan Quarter 88 

Sweet Home 89 

Terra Ceia 91 

Tranters Creek 91 

Union Grove 93 

Washington 94 

Weona 97 

West Belhaven 98 

Williamston 99 

Zions Chapel 102 

SL % 4, 47S~6 

Albemarle Annals 

Box 1164, Wilson, N. C, October 1, 1961. 


The Albemarle Christian Missionary Union is a regional component of The 
North Carolina Christian Missionary Convention. Its geography is that of 
the State's northeastern sector of ten coastal counties, of which six are con- 
tiguously south of the Albemarle Sound, having 60 churches of this faith, 
and the other four counties are "over the Sound," with the remaining six 
churches. Lavishly provided with sounds, bays, lakes, and rivers, it is a 
land of "much water." 

This Union met at Robersonville, October 5, 1960, and at Plymouth, Jan- 
uary 11, 1961. At these meetings, after deliberate discussion of the request 
which came from their Publication Committee, I was asked to prepare this 
monograph. Accordingly there is hereby sketched concisely the Union and 
its 66 churches. My sources for the prolonged research involved are in the 
enriched Carolina Discipliana Library, a specialized collection within the 
Atlantic Christian College Library. Regrettably the precise pastoral tenures 
before 1911 are but sparsely given in the aforementioned sources. Also the 
State Convention Minutes do not record delegates' names after 1889. 

This particular Union creation is to-day's authorized adaptation of pre- 
ceding Unions, the first known of which was The Union Meeting of Disciples 
of Christ in North Carolina, then First District Missionary Cooperation, 
Pungo, Old Ford, Albemarle, Northeast, Hyde, and Roanoke. It is well 
known among Disciples that a majority of these 66 churches herein sketched 
do not organizationally affiliate today with this Union. That is a technical 
point. Historically however, they are all ineluctably of one fellowship. This 
is because that in every instance, as shown herein, they were joined initially 
with The North Carolina Christian Missionary Convention, or its proper 
antecedents. And are yet joined herewith in an inexplicably inclusive sense. 
The bonds of Christian love are transcendental and abide forever. 

Trusting that readers may kindly forbear, I append this personal note and 
apostrophe. At the age of thirteen I was baptized by one of these Albemarle 
preachers. Within the same month I made my first speech to a church 
assembly. Its subject, Christian missions and its twin, Christian education. 
From that day to this, meditations on that message have made for me a 
springboard. Putting it to work now is but an extension of my heart and life. 

Oh you beloved founding fathers of the Albemarle Disciples! Come now 
from the long ago and speak to us. Give us your impassioned witness again 
in behalf of united Christian missionary cooperation, which gave our grow- 
ing movement an effective functional outreach. By the Spirit Eternal may 
we hear you! Under God may we heed you! 

( 1 ) 


An important sector of the institutional life of North Carolina Disciples of 
Christ has been represented for 127 years in the Albemarle Christian Mis- 
sionary Union and its duly appointed predecessors. Within its area was 
heard the first proclamation, as of record, to a local church assembly of the 
"Plea" of the Disciples of Christ. It was at Grindle Creek Church the site 
of which is to-day in the southern fringe of Pactolus. It was by General 
William Clark in the summer of 1832. This church had started in 1828, a 
member of the Kehukee Association, but with 83 members had united with 
the more tolerant Neuse Association in 1832 before its belated expulsion from 
the Kehukee in 1833. It sent two delegates, B. F. Eborn, and General Clark 
to the initial organization of the State's Disciples at Little Sister, March 
28-30, 1834. The leaderless Grindle Creek Disciples, disappeared as a church 
group, after General Clark's emigration to Jackson, Mississippi. 

Scattered Disciples maintained fellowship through their Union Meeting 
set up in 1834, four of their original six churches being in the Albemarle 
area. A merger was effected on May 2, 1845, with the Bethel Conference, 
when 11 of the 30 churches in the united group had Albemarle location. 
These 11 enrolled 558 of the entire State group of 1859 members registered 
in the year of the merger. When J. T. Walsh came to the State in 1852 he 
had successfully urged a better organization of the 37 churches then existing, 
of which 10 were north of Tar River; 15 were between the Tar and the 
Neuse; and 12 south of the Neuse. These river boundaries served as a 
natural criteria for an improved, expedited fellowship. It worked. These 
subdivisions long had a variety of names but were often referred to as First, 
Second, and Third Districts, counting from north to south. 

J. T. Walsh, editor of the Disciples' first paper originating within the 
State, was first sustained as an evangelist, by a cooperation of churches, 
projected mainly from Hookerton, Kinston, Rountree, and Oak Grove in 
Greene. He yearned for the practical extension of such evangelism in like 
groups throughout the field. In his Christian Friend, of December, 1853, he 
suggested: "The Churches in Beaufort County with others in Martin and 
Washington Counties might form another meeting to be called The Beaufort 
Cooperation. These churches we judge could support one evangelist in their 
midst." In pursuance of this thought a call went out for delegates to attend 
at Athens Chapel, then known as Union Chapel, on July 28-30, 1854. It was 
to lay ground work for fellowship meetings on forthcoming fifth Sunday 
week-ends. Names of participating churches at this gathering are not given, 
except three new ones, Pungo Chapel, Christian Hope, and Free Union. A 
promotional visitation was scheduled for 10 churches to be done opportunely 
by their four leading evangelists: Seth H. Tyson, John M. Gurganus, H. D. 
Cason, and John A. Leggett. Their aim was to have an informed constituency 
in the support of area evangelism. 

Their next meeting was at Pantego, December 29-31, 1854. There was heavy 
snowfall on the first day; but it was clear, on the 30th, when five churches 
were represented, namely: Free Union, Pantego, Pungo Chapel, Shiloh, and 
Taylor's Chapel. Seth H. Tyson "preached the introductory sermon from 
ROM. 10:14, clearly showing therefrom the necessity of evangelical labor 
among the destitute." 

This First District after setting things in order employed A. J. Battle as 
their first evangelist, serving 1854-'55. Meeting at Taylor's Chapel, with 
six churches represented, July 27-29, 1855, Battle's report was heard. He 

( 2 ) 

had traveled 875 miles, preached 70 times, baptized 14 persons, visited 54 
families, and had received for compensation, $49.45, of which $34.85 was 
from the Union proper. On the Sunday of this occasion, Battle preached "a 
missionary sermon to a large and attentive congregation." 

Next was the gathering at Old Ford, September 28-30, 1855. Nine churches 
were represented. A revival at the host church continued until October 6, 
with 28 baptisms. This inspired local pastor John A. Leggett to say: "This 
was a Union Meeting indeed." 

Following was their December meeting at Free Union in which 12 churches 
pledged a total of $193.40 to sustain evangelist Battle for another year. The 
reporting clerk added: "This sum being insufficient to pay our evangelist, 
it is earnestly requested that the churches increase their subscription." The 
12 churches participating were: Athens Chapel, Christian Hope, Free Union, 
Long Acre Chapel, Oak Grove, Old Ford, Pantego, Pungo Chapel, Scranton, 
Shiloh, Taylor's Chapel, and Union Grove. 

The cooperation grew to 16 churches by June 27-29, 1856, when they met 
at Tranter's Creek, with total offerings, $55.60. Seth H. Tyson their evan- 
gelist reported traveling 1258 miles, baptizing 51 persons, and constituting 
three new churches. "All of which was received with gratification that our 
little effort to advance the kingdom of Christ was not in vain." 

Meeting at Pantego in August, 1856, H. D. Cason was named as their evan- 
gelist for the ensuing year. Tyson, outgoing evangelist, reported that during 
the quarter he had "preached 68 sermons, and immersed 26 persons;" com- 
pensation, $72.76. 

Stymied by the great war, no Union activities were publicized for the 
1860's. In the next decade, Stanley Ayers, freed from army service was their 
evangelist. In June, 1873, at the Long Acre Chapel Union he reported travel 
for 42 days baptizing 19, and he had received for his labor, $41.55, all from 
8 churches and 6 individuals. When they met at Zion's Chapel in April. 
1877, an evangelizing committee, (executive board), functioned. Their names: 
R. T. Hodges, J. R. Roberson, Jordan Wilkinson, Jesse H. Woolard, G. W. 
Allen, Levi Jackson, Jr., James H. Grimes, T. J. Basnight, H. H. Bowen, J. W. 
Hassell, W. H. Wilson, E. T. Woolard. John R. Winfield was their evangelist, 
who was paid $54 for the quarter. 

At the Athens Chapel Union, December, 1877, J. L. Burns attended and 
gave this realistic account: "But few preachers were present; number of 
delegates small. Nothing done for evangelizing the next quarter. If no 
more zeal is manifested in the next meeting, all efforts for Mission Work in 
the 1st District will soon die out. I have found very little encouragement 
among our brethren for Mission Work." In October, 1881, the meeting 
was at Albemarle church. Eight churches responded, contributing $31 to 
help in sustaining H. S. Gurganus as their evangelist. Next year, pastor 
John R. Winfield reported: "We have organized Sisters Missions in all of 
the churches I serve, and I never saw a class of Christians more in earnest. 
They are full of faith and are raising funds for the spread of the truth in 
every part of the country." 

When it met at Oak Grove in April, 1882, Gideon Allen queried: "What is 
the purpose of this Union Meeting?" No answer was given then. Later, 
J. R. Roberson of Oak Grove, a faithful District leader of long standing, 
replied in writing, as herewith briefed: 

The object primarily was to meet in general union for hearty hand- 
shake; that love, peace, and happy feelings might prevail; to promote 

( 3 ) 

well-organized Lord's Day Schools; to extend the gospel to needy sec- 
tions; to hear preaching; to observe the Lord's Supper and be spiritually 
renewed; and to raise money for evangelical purposes. We sent the first 
preacher to Robersonville; the first to Hassell; the first to parts of Wash- 
ington, Tyrrell, and Perquimans Counties. The result of these sendings 
are churches at Robersonville, Hassell, three or four in Tyrrell, and one 
in Perquimans County. I suppose that the number of members added is 
not less than 500 in and by this First District Cooperation. 

A few years later a change of strategy was indicated by H. C. Bowen's 
remark: "The Unions make a specialty of building houses of worship at 
mission points." 

The Robersonville Union, April, 1883, adopted a set of resolutions presented 
by their Committee on Resolutions. Its personnel serving by appointment: 
Henry Winfield, J. A. B. Cooper, H. H. Davis. Two of these resolutions 

3rd. Its purpose shall be to work up and bring out the missionary 
spirit of our people by constant preaching on the subject and in every 
way presenting to them the importance of the work. 

4th. The first object shall be to preach the gospel and assist in erect- 
ing houses of worship at such places as we may hereafter deem ex- 

To the Disciples' State Convention from the beginning was entrusted the 
prerogative of proper allocation of the churches in the various districts. Thus 
in 1885 the Convention projected seven districts with respective assignments 
of the churches, as follows: Mill Creek, 5; Jones-Onslow, 12; Hookerton, 15; 
Pamlico, 15; Pungo, 13; Old Ford, 14; Albemarle, 17; total, 91 churches in 
the seven districts. The Convention's Districting Committee: H. D. Harper, 
H. C. Bowen, I. L. Chestnutt, J. L. Burns, and J. L. Winfield. At the Roun- 
tree State Convention, 1885, it was adopted and embodied in the official 
Minutes thereof. 

The three districts, Albemarle, Old Ford, and Pungo enrolled a total of 
44 churches in 10 counties as follows: Beaufort, 11; Currituck, 1; Dare, 2; 
Edgecombe, 1; Hyde, 7; Martin, 8; Perquimans, 1; Pitt, 2; Tyrrell, 4; Wash- 
ington, 7. In the inclusive Albemarle area of to-day the 66 churches in 10 
counties sketched herewith are located as follows: Beaufort, 19; Chowan, 1; 
Currituck, 2; Hyde, 10; Martin, 14; Pasquotank, 1; Perquimans, 2; Pitt, 3; 
Tyrrell, 6; Washington, 8. 

The Albemarle Union met at Phillippi May 27-29, 1887. Seven churches 
reported; contributions $69.96. W. O. Winfield and Dennis Wrighter Davis 
were employed to evangelize in Perquimans County, each to receive $1.50 
per day from the Union. Personnel of the Union's executive board: Rufus 
Swain, T. J. Basnight, J. F. Davenport, D. N. Berry, W. J. Bowen. The Old 
Ford Union met at Christian Chapel in July, 1887. It was reported: "Enough 
in pledges was procured to ensure the purchasing of a site on which to build 
a church in the town of Williamston." Later this Union assisted also with 
more than $400 cash on Williamston's initial plant. 

It developed 1885 to 1891 that a merger of Albemarle and Old Ford Unions 
was desirable. After due deliberation in 1891 the change was effected under 
the new name of Roanoke Union, which held its first session bearing that 
designation at Old Ford on November 28, 29, 1891. At this meeting the 
Washington mission was admitted and henceforth for a crucial period 
received material aid from the Union for that highly important point. 

( 4 ) 

The Hyde Union developed slowly in effective organization, having but 4 
cooperative churches in 1899. In April of that year the Hyde Union adopted 
constitution and by-laws drafted by their committee: J. Montier Hall, chair- 
man, George W. Harris, and J. W. Respess. Its third article stated that 
each component church must be from "within the limits of the district as 
now laid down by The North Carolina Christian Missionary Convention, 
subject to any change the said Convention may in its wisdom see fit to 
make." The Roanoke Union over a long period helped Plymouth effectually 
with its building and met there to celebrate mutually the victory on Septem- 
ber 28-30, 1900. The following June, Roanoke's session was at Poplar 
Chapel; subject of president P. S. Swains' address: "The Need of Coopera- 
tion." Said professor R. J. Peel, the clerk, "It was a strong argument and 
should be heeded by the churches of the Roanoke District". Swain's letter 
of April 29, 1901, gives an insight into Roanoke realities. He said: 

"It is a sad fact that nearly all of our churches are neglecting our 
Union Meetings. In the Roanoke nearly half of the churches send 
neither report nor delegates. There are 30 churches in this Union, 
and we ought to raise not less than $100 each Union, but as it is it takes 
us a year to raise the above amount." 

Atlantic Christian College opened in Wilson in September, 1902. Its 
rooms needed proper furnishing. As of record these five Roanoke churches 
each outfitted a room there: Athens Chapel, Jamesville, Plymouth, Scupper- 
nong, Washington. At the Macedonia Union in August, 1902, a free-will 
offering of $22.16 went to relieve the veteran preacher, A. C. Hart. 

For many years it was the usual practice at sessions of the Roanoke to 
share generous time on programs with the organized Woman's Missionary 
Work. Thus at the Zion Chapel Union, May 28, 1910, John F. Latham, presi- 
dent; T. R. Tyer, secretary, the afternoon session "was turned over to the 
C.W.B.M., Sister Fred P. Latham, presiding". In 1915 there were 12 Auxiliaries 
(C.W.B.M.) in the Albemarle area, namely: Belhaven, Fairfield, Gospel Light, 
Macedonia, Mt. Olive, Mt. Pleasant, (Pitt), Oak Grove, Pantego, Poplar Chapel, 
Union Grove, Washington, Zion's Chapel. These had increased to 14 in 1934, 
with 55 subscribers to World Call, and total annual offerings to United Chris- 
tian Missionary Society, $959.39. At the Hyde Union at Scranton, June 30, 
1935, the "Missionary women of the District had charge of the afternoon 
session with the topic, State Missions." 

Throughout 1944 and 1945, the Roanoke's fifth-Sunday-week-end sessions 
were held in sequence at Plymouth, Mt. Pleasant, (Pitt), Phillippi, Union 
Grove, Berea, Fairview, Columbia, and Pinetown. From their start several 
decades before this there had been invariably an open forum for such pres- 
entations of the brotherhood's missionary program at home and abroad as 
was generally felt to be expedient, sponsored always by the established state 
services. Yet in the meetings above cited, the drift of exclusiveness toward 
such programing reached an extreme toward both personnel and policy. This 
came to the attention of the State Board of Managers through the unani- 
mously filed petition of a voluntary Steering Committee within the Roanoke 
Union dated November 19, 1945, which asked for a new designation of the 
area as the Albemarle Christian Missionary Union, "the whole being in 
cooperation with The North Carolina Christian Missionary Convention." This 
was unanimously granted by the Board on November 27, 1945. It accorded 
with Article 12 of the Constitution of The North Carolina Christian Mis- 
sionary Convention, which plainly provided: "The Convention may divide 

( 5 ) 

the State into districts, to be known as Union Meeting districts." This polity 
of Article 12 had been explicitly in effect since 1885, but had been implicit 
and activated long before in the 1850's when the river-oriented First, Second, 
and Third Districts functioned. 

Obviously a goodly portion of the area's membership had the cooperative 
missionary heart for brotherhood activities. Specific offerings for State 
Missions were freely made by 27 churches in the area in 1945, last year of 
World War II. Henceforth in the Albemarle there was to be a brotherhood- 
related forum at each session for the constructive handling of all loyal 
cooperative programs and projects "which can best be handled in a district 

The first meeting of the restored Albemarle was held at the First Christian 
Church, Robersonville, on January 6, 1946. "The attendance was gratifying; 
the fellowship was enriching; a common mind for the best constructive work 
was evident." First officers elected were: president, John L. Goff; vice 
president, M. Elmore Turner; secretary, Gladys Whitley; treasurer, Delbert 
M. Sawyer. With these four, five additional persons were elected to complete 
the exetcutive board, namely: J. M. Perry, F. A. Lilley, J. Walter Lollis, E. 
L. Roebuck, Mrs. R. N. Cooper. 

Quarterly one-day meetings for the Union were set for January, April, 
June, and October. After their next gathering which was at Washington in 
April, 1946, it was said: "The Albemarle has gotten off to an excellent start." 
At the Belhaven Union January 7, 1948, Ivan Adams was ordained to the 
ministry. Cecil A. Jarman preached the sermon. Meeting at Williamston, 
January 5, 1949, it gave $500 cash to help sustain the new state evangelist, 
C. W. Riggs. There began a historical feature continued in successive pro- 
grams by informed speakers. These were concise sketches orally delivered 
on the following churches: Athens Chapel, Belhaven, Columbia, Hassell, 
Macedonia, Williamston, and others. These stirred heart-felt memories and 
were edifying. 

The 18th session of the Albemarle at Robersonville, April 5, 1950, might 
be considered typical. Attending were 222 persons representing 25 churches; 
offerings, $187.22; gift from its treasury, $300 to furnish a room at the new 
Harper Hall, in Wilson. At its 25th session at Belhaven January 4, 1952, the 
group's picture was made and published. It was then said: "Albemarle 
Union has taken deep root with a growing constituency. It yearns to be as 
the Hounds of Heaven seeking always the best there is to be found and 
rounded up in the bonds of Christian brotherhood." At the April meeting, 
1952, $50 was given to the building fund of the Goldsboro Christian Institute, 
and in the October meeting that year, $200 was given to Camp Caroline, later 
increased to $500. Altogether from Albemarle sources, $13,031.04 was given 
to this Camp to June 30, 1954. Sources in the area had also given to the 
"Crusade for a Christian World", 1947-1951, a total of $38,539.78. 

For the year ending June 30, 1960, a total of $10,235 was given to Unified 
Promotion in Christian Churches, (Disciples of Christ), by Christian Woman's 
Fellowship remittances, alone, in the following 18 churches of the Albe- 
marle area: Bath, Belhaven, Columbia, Elizabeth City, Engelhard, Everetts, 
Gold Point, Hassell, Jamesville, Middleton, Mt. Pleasant, (Pitt), Oak City, 
Pantego, Plymouth, Robersonville, Stokes, Washington, Williamston. 

Total church membership in the 66 churches of the Albemarle Christian 
Missionary Union is reportedly 12,478. 

( 6 ) 


North Carolina's first parliamentary name is Albemarle. As their first 
governmental unit it has unique meaning. Near the present Elizabeth City 
for their initial lawmaking, the "Grand Assembly of Albemarle," met on 
February 6, 1665. As our Colonial Records state, (Vol. 4, 1200), it was 
"called . . Albemarle from the Duke of that name." This person was 
George Monck, (1608-1670), First Duke of Albemarle, one of the eight regally 
appointed Lord Proprietors of Carolina. On the Colony's earliest seal is "the 
word ALBEMARLE in capital letters between the Coats of Arms of these 
Lord Proprietors. This was Albemarle of 300 years ago, "(the whole Province 
of North Carolina being so called at that time)", Col. Rec, Vol. 3, 321. 

Earliest of Tyrrell County's Christian Churches, (Disciples of Christ), is 
Albemarle, enrolled by the Disciples' Annual State Meeting, October 8, 1871. 
It then had 21 members. Joseph Grey Gurganus (1850-1882), together with 
his father, John M., (1802-1876), and his brother, Henry Smith, (1825-1911), 
were the Evangelizing co-founders of Albemarle. The church is named for 
the near-by Sound, which is said to be the largest body of coastal fresh water 
in the world. Site of the church is a few miles northwest of Travis, a village 
on the arterial U. S. Highway, 64. 

Albemarle's church clerk from 1877 to 1889 was Edmond Walker. Repre- 
senting them occasionally in the Disciples' Annual State Meetings was Fred 
M. Davenport who was later a revered, active Disciple at Plymouth. Their 
church school in 1901 enrolled 80, inclusive of 10 officers and teachers; W. W. 
Sawyer, superintendent. Some later superintendents: J. D. Furlaugh, 1911; 
J. L. Walker, 1915, enrolling 100. Their C. W. B. M. Auxiliary in 1911 had 
8 members, contributing that year 80 cents to the General Fund and 40 cents 
to the State Fund. Their church property valuation in 1901 was $800; in 
1930, $1500. 

Their local church correspondent, W. B. Brickhouse reported in May, 1882: 

The condition of the church here is very prosperous, more so than for 
a long time. We have Sunday School every Lord's Day; 50 students and 
8 teachers. We have books sufficient for our present use. There is 
considerable animation. Our constant prayer meetings tend to make us 
God-loving people. We look for a large ingathering from the seed sown 
from house to house. Bro. Joe Grey Gurganus preaches for us. He is 
dearly beloved by all the congregation, and his visits are hailed with 
the greatest joy. 

Gurganus was baptized by John Bunyan Respess, enrolled by the Disciples' 
State Meeting in 1870 at Oak Grove, and was ordained by John James Col- 
train in 1872. Henry Winfield said that Gurganus had "an unequalled amount 
of vital energy and patient devotion to the arduous labors of the ministry," 
and was "amiable, generous, and kind, a Peter in impulsive zeal, a John in 
meek and persuasive bearing, and at times a Son of Thunder." His death at 
the early age of 32 was an irreparable loss to Christian leadership in an 
isolated field. 

W. G. Johnston, Kinston pastor, held their revival, September 9-17, 1902, 
with 12 additions, and reported: 

Under Bro. Peter S. Swain's pastoral guidance the church has grown 
each year, and the outlook for a strong church is very bright. The 
Walker family have been the backbone of the work. They deserve much 
credit, as also do many others for faithfully adhering to the faith during 
trials and numerous discouragements. 

( 7 ) 

In 1923, Louis A. Mayo held their revival, July 30-August 6, with 8 addi- 
tions. Cumber Radcliffe, then clerk of the church, said: "Bro. Mayo held us 
a fine meeting; everybody attending was revived with the Gospel message of 
Christ. Our church is in good working condition. We hope the spirit of 
Christ will continue here". 

Hilary T. Bowen, pastor there in 1924, commented: 

Brother Walter Owen has recently beautified the interior of the church 
by buying pulpit furniture and building a choir loft. The Ladies' Aid 
put a new top on the church, and the church as a whole bought a fine 
new Delco light plant. The total cost, about $800. Mrs. Emiline Godfrey 
gave us a $50 individual communion set. I am preaching Christian edu- 
cation and missions with Christ as center of it all. I have had many 
kinds of results, but none so far for education and missions. I hope 
Albemarle will wake up before it is too late. 

Again 8 were added when J. W. Lollis held their revival August 2-8, 1925. 
M. G. Darden of Plymouth led the revival singing and said: "The work at 
Albemarle is in fine shape, a long way above average; fine plant, well equipped 
with electric lights, class rooms, and choir loft." 

While pastor H. T. Bowen attended the Student Volunteer Convention at 
Detroit, Michigan, J. Watson Shockley supplied the Albemarle pulpit, and 
gave this account in February, 1928: 

The church is an old building having been constructed during the time 
of slavery when provision was made for the slaves to attend worship in 
the balcony at rear of auditorium. The balcony serves church school 
purposes as it is partitioned with beaver boards, giving four large class 
rooms occupied by well organized classes. Other classes meet in audi- 
torium and on pulpit platform which extends clear across the building. 
They have a good choir and they know how to sing. In its membership 
are some of the finest in the land; the genial Owens family; the Walkers; 
the Furlaughs; the Armstrongs, and a host of others. 

Membership at Albemarle is reportedly 70. 

Roll of Ministers at Albemarle. 

1881, 1882 J. G. Gurganus 1923 , S. T. Smith 

1S83, 1888, 1926 W. 0. Winfield 1924, 1928 H. T. Bowen 

18S4 T. W. Whitley 1925 George A. Moore 

1896-1902 P. S. Swain 1927 J. J. Langston 

1909 R. L. Philpott 1929-1937 Roy O. Respess 

1911, 1912 J. R. Tingle 1938-1943 L. B. Bennett 

1914, 1916 - W. H. Marler 1944, 1945 Perry F. Baldwin 

1915 C. E. Lee 1946 Lloyd Crowe 

1917-1919, 1922 J. C. Coggins 1947 G. C. Bland 

1920, 1921 J. T. Moore 


It was founded 111 years ago. Seth H. Tyson, and John Bunyan Respess, 
aged 20, were its first preachers. It is located two miles west of Bath. Hav- 
ing a membership of 9, it was enrolled by "Conference" agreement on October 
17, 1850, by the Disciples' annual state meeting. By 1856 the membership had 
grown to 79. Its name was Union Chapel until 1891 when it was changed to 
Athens Chapel. Their primitive preaching was but once in three months on 
second Sunday week-ends in September, December, March, and June. 

( 8 ) 

It had long and honorable supporting association with the Disciples' State 
Convention. During 1S50 to 1889 25 of its best men represented it there 
well and faithfully. These were: Sam V. Oden, Horace Cutler, Eli K. Powell, 
John B. Respess, G. W. Oden, John Archibald, Henry O. Cutler, John Carrow, 
John Holmes, L. W. Downs, C. J. Cutler, W. C. Everett, N. C. Cutler. A. O. 
Windley, J. W. Latham, W. Latham, H. T. Whitley, Hayward Bateman, C. L. 
Davis, W. R. Tetterton, F. P. Whitley, N. A. Whitley, S. A. Cutler, Charles F. 
Oden, John F. Latham. First clerks were: G. W. Oden, (1878); H. H. Oden, 
(1887). Their church school began in 1891, enrolling 95; G. T. Tyson, super- 
intendent; W. C. Oden, secretary. The next year it enrolled 105, inclusive 
of 5 teachers; S. A. Cutler, superintendent; J. T. Elliott, secretary- Their 
church property valuation in 1901 was $1,200; in 1927, $2,500. 

Amos Johnston Battle, (1805-1870), pioneer itinerant evangelist, held early 
revivals there. Reporting to The Christian Friend, on November 10. 1855, 
Battle said: 

Eighteen months ago the church at Union Chapel numbered fourteen 
members. I held a meeting with them the first week in August, 1854, 
and another which has just closed; and they now number sixty-seven, 
and the prospect is very encouraging for continued additions. Elder 
Tyson has regularly attended them as their minister. The first meeting 
awakened a desire for a more commodious house to worship in; and last 
June a subscription was started jointly by our brethren and members of 
the Episcopal church; and it was all in readiness for us. The house is 
36 by 46, with six glass windows, two front doors, and three rows of 
seats with comfortable backs; and all constructed for the very small 
sum of $300. This is a free house it is true, but no other could have 
been built at this time, and it is very creditable to the neighborhood, and 
especially to those who had the management of it. 

Pastor Seth H. Tyson attributed the success of these meetings to the 
"providence of God, envangelist Battle's faithful, eloquent discourses, and 
Christian zeal." Further he said: "Now the prospects at that place are 

W. O. Winfield lived at Bath, and ministered several years at Athens 
Chapel. John T. Elliott was a leading layman there and loved his brother- 
hood-related agencies. Invariably he reminded his pastor to observe the 
days for special offerings, giving generously himself to set an example. To 
the Atlantic Christian College debt-retirement campaign, 1907-1911, he gave 
$500, a sizeable personal gift for that day. John F. Latham was another 
outstanding layman of this local church, serving a long and active term as 
a trustee of the College at Wilson; also T. R. Tyer, was a worthy member of 
the State Missions executive board. 

Pastor Winfield was ever warm to these "outreach" causes also. In June, 
1899, he said: "May God make us brave to open our mouths wide on the 
subject of State Missions, thus opening the hearts of those able to give. 
Again I say let us have a rally all along the line, and hurrah for State Mis- 

Ben H. Melton, state secretary, in March, 1901, reported that Athens Chapel, 
Saints Delight, and Albemarle had each exceeded already the yearly appor- 
tionments for State Missions respectively. Whereupon, P. S. Swain, pastor 
of these churches affirmed: "Most encouraging is the large number who gave 
to State Missions. Athens Chapel is at present the banner church for this 
cause in the state having given more to it than any other church since the 
State Convention." 

( 9 ) 

At the turn of the century, Joseph D. Waters held there some summer 
revivals. During one of these he baptized John M. Waters, later to become 
the long-time minister at Arapahoe, and Wilson College crusader. Nanna 
Crozier of the C. W. B. M., (now C.W.P.), visited there in July, 1905, while 
Dennis Wrighter Davis was pastor. Davis diligently assisted her in her 
field work, over the week-end when Athens Chapel had a local auxiliary, 
Mrs. Lizzie Elliott, secretary, and Bath began its womans' organization. 

After its Foreign Missions offering in March, 1906, pastor W. O. Winfield 

Athens Chapel gave $20, but this is not as large as it should be. No 
church can afford to give our missionary collections a cold shoulder. The 
anti-missionary church and preacher are both doomed to death. The 
mission spirit is the growing spirit, and the church and preacher who 
possess and cultivate this spirit grow spiritually. The Athens church 
has already raised about $10 for State Missions. I hope that the churches 
composing the Roanoke District will see that the offerings for State Mis- 
sions are not neglected. 

Lonnie B. Scarbobrough from Atlantic Christian College ministered there 
in the 1930's. By 1938 he had led them to half-time preaching and was com- 
pleting extensive plant improvements which were dedicated in November of 
that year. Later he held the Athens Chapel revival, September 2-13, 1940, 
with 40 additions. He then gave this hopeful statement: 

The local church morale now at old Athens is indeed good and all are 
hopeful for a fruitful pastorate under John M. Waters, beginning October, 
1940. This church is strongly cooperative for our State Service and our 
brotherhood life. It is a tower of strength for Our Plea in the Bath area. 

Membership at Athens Chapel is reportedly 300. 

Roll of ministers at Athens Chapel. 

1850-1852 _.„Seth H. Tyson 1911, 1912 John T. Saunders 

1853 J. B Respess, Sr. 1913 J. B. Swain 

1854, 1855 A. J Battle 1917-1921 Warren A. Davis 

1881-1883 George Joyner 1924-1930 D. W Arnold 

1888 Augustus Latham, Jr. 1931-1939 L. B. Scarborough 

1889, 1899, 1914-16, 1940 _ R. E. Jarman 

1922, 1923 W. O. Winfield 1941 .__ John M. Waters 

1905 D. W. Davis 1942-1944 _.... Z. N. Deshields 

1900-1908 . .P. S. Swain 1945-1949 R. L. Topping 

1909 John R. Smith 


"Bath Town" is a Tarheel heritage from the late 1600s. Its story well 
articulated by historian, novelist, and antiquarian, is an abiding treasure. 
It was incorporated on March 8, 1705 by the Albemarle Assembly. In 1714, 
John Urmstone, a mentally perturbed misisonary, called it the "famous city 
of Bath, once stiled the metropolis," which then "had only nine houses, or 
cottages." Referring to the first books sent thither for public use, he in- 
sisted: "I cannot find means to secure that admirable library of books sent 
in by the Reverend Dr. Bray for the use of the ministry of this Province, but 
it will in all probability serve as a bonfire to the Indians." Next year Gov- 
ernor Burrington's comment indicated serious loss, because Albemarle's dila- 

( 10 ) 

tory legislation "for securing a small library . . . was too much embezzled 
before the act was made." (Col. Rec. Vol. 3, 187). 

On the "Pampticough" peninsular "surrounded by the most pleasant savan- 
nas," the future colonial capital was laid out on 60 acres of land first owned 
by David Perkins; later vested in Thomas Cary. First commissioners: Joel 
Martin, John Porter, Thomas Harding, John Drinkwater. Proper space 
must be reserved "for a Church, a Town House, and a Market Place." The 
remainder was to be partitioned into half-acre lots and sold to homesteaders 
at thirty shillings each, ($4.20 per lot). After purchase, each buyer, to avoid 
forfeiture, had to construct on his respective lot, "a good, substantial, habit- 
able house," within a year. If "Hoggs or Shotes" ran wildly in their streets, 
some apprehending citizen must pen them to be rewarded in judgment with 
half their number, while the remainder should go to sustain the poor. 

In 1764 it was on the 448-mile post route from Williamsburg, Va., to 
Charleston, S. C. On Mondays, mail was received at Bath but only "once a 
fortnight." Their postman's annual pay was 130 British pounds, ($364), at 
"half-yearly payment out of the contingent tax." In 1783 the mail delivery 
was weekly. Samuel W. Lucas later served as their postmaster. As of 
record his annual compensation in 1834 was $63.19; declining to $40.68 in 
1839, as mailings shrank. 

In Bath, a century and a half after its founding, the itinerant Disciple 
evangelist, Amos Johnston Battle, preached "three days and baptized four 
persons." It was in the fall of 1855. These converts may have readily 
affiliated at the new Union Chapel, (Athens Chapel), which was but two 
miles away. 

In July, 1900, Dennis Wrighter Davis noted in his Watch Tower: "We are 
informed that the Bath brethren will make strenuous effort to build a house 
of worship in that town. The field there is good and we feel sure that a 
strong and united effort on the part of the brethren will accomplish the 
desired result." H. S. Davenport shortly thereafter said: "I have an indus- 
trious spell on me and I am going out to canvass in the interest of the pros- 
pective church in Bath. There, if we only try, we can build a nice house." 

In May, 1905, before their plant materialized, Nanna Crozier, national field 
worker of the woman's work, visited, to lead in organizing their Auxiliary 
with 11 members. Their first officers: president, Mrs. T. R. Tyer, secretary, 
Lizzie Midyett, treasurer, Mrs. Fannie Burgess. Miss Cozier also organized 
their Junior Society with 12 members. Mrs. Lizzie Elliott, superintendent. 

W. O. Winfield whose home was in Bath evangelized there in August, 
1907, and organized the Christian Church with approximately 50 members. 
This number had increased to 55 when the church was enrolled on November 
19, 1909, in the North Carolina Christian Missionary Convention. T. R. Tyer, 
local correspondent represented the Winfield meeting as "very successful". 
Further, Tyer reported: "We used as a house of worship an old store build- 
ing until December 5, 1909, when we moved into our new house of worship 
costing about $1800, with all paid except $600." 

In 1908 and 1910, fruitful revivals were held there respectively by Dennis 
Wrighter Davis and John W. Tyndall. Pastor Thomas Green served the 
church at this time, of whom it was said: "He is throwing his whole soul 
into the work and is willing to make any sacrifice, no matter how great, for 
the sake of the cause." 

J. Watson Shockley evangelized there in June, 1929, receiving 34 additions, 
the baptismal service for the 23 who came by primary obedience, being con- 

( 11 ) 

ducted at night in Bath creek illumined by a bevy of automobile headlights. 
Two ministerial recruits from the community are: Harold L. Tyer, and W. J. 
(Bill) Waters. 

The local woman's organization presented the church with a Baldwin Elec- 
tric Organ, which was dedicated, September 6, 1953; Mrs. Hal Wingate, a 
graduate of Atlantic Christian College, organist. M. O. Edmondson, and C. 
M. Woolard, were successive superintendents of the growing church school. 
The church in 1953 gave a total of $135 to "outreach" in brotherhood-related 
agencies. That year, pastor H. L. Tyer led their revival. "Those persons 
who heard his messages must certainly have been impressed to the point of 
renewing their faith in Christ," said a correspondent. The church assumed 
half-time preaching. A new heating system was installed and a recreational 
outdoor fire-place erected. 

Their C.W.F. in 1954 had 20 members; officers: president, Mrs. Wilbur 
Bunch; secretary, Mrs. M. 0. Edmondson; treasurer, Mrs. E. V. Swindell; 
directors of worship and program, Mrs. Hal Wingate, and Mrs. P. R. Kilby. 
The church advanced to full-time preaching with pastor W. J. (Bill) Waters 
in 1955. The next year three new elders were installed, namely: Lynwood 
Roper, Lowell Sullivan, Wilbur Bunch. 

Membership at Bath is reportedly, 334. 

Roll of Ministers at Bath. 

1908, 1909 D. W. Davis 1927, 1942, 1943 D. W. Arnold 

1910-1912 Thomas Green 1929, 1930 J. W. Shockley 

1913 J. B. Swain 1931-1938 - L. B. Scarborough 

1914 ... Pendell Bush 1939,1940 R. E. Jarman 

1915, 1916, 1921, 1941 M. L. Ambrose 

1922 George A. Moore 1948-1950; 1956. 1957 H. L. Tyer 

1917-1920 J. R. Tingle 1951 Guy Elliott, Jr. 

1923, 1924, 1944-1947 R. L. Topping 1952-1955 _. W. J. Waters 

1925 L. A. Mayo 1958 Roland Jones 

1926 ... E. J. Harris 1960, 1961 .... . C. Bradner, Jr. 


It is on U. S. 264 six miles east of Washington. This is the old Washington- 
Leechville road on which Thomas Campbell of the Declaration and Address 
(1809) plod his lonely way 127 years ago, (1834). While Beaver Dam long- 
served as a "free church", it was used mostly in that capacity by a diversity 
of community Baptists. Reporting 21 members it was in the Neuse Asso- 
ciation at their yearly meeting at Chinquapin Chapel, Jones County, on 
October 19, 1811. The Neuse conclave nurtured Missionary Baptists, and to 
a less extent, Tarheel Disciples of Christ. Baptists at Washington, shep- 
herded by Jeremiah Mastin headed for the "Primitive" order, came out to 
Beaver Dam and established a branch for their cause in 1822. To these a 
half-century later Newsome H. Harrison preached. He was an esteemed 
citizen of Washington County, and grandfather of the Disciple preachers, 
Kenneth, and Hassell Bowen. By 1885, only six "Primitive" members were 
left at Beaver Dam, (Hassell's History, page 850). 

When the Bethel Conference held their annual meeting at Bay Creek, 
November 6-8, 1829, Beaver Dam was listed as one of their 26 churches. When 
this Conference merged with the Disciples' Union Meeting at Hookerton on 

( 12 ) 

May 2, 1845, Beaver Dam reported 48 members. Its twelve representatives 
in the annual State Conferences of Disciples were: Thomas Everett, Silas 
Ange, Jordan Daniels, G. W. Congleton, S. W Woolard, Samuel Windley, Z. 
Shepherd, Charles E. Woolard, J. B. Respess, J. E. Woolard, John W. Woolard, 
C. H. Woolard. Also the church was active in the regional fifth Sunday 
'"Cooperation Meetings". Thus at Pantego, August 29-31, 1856, their dele- 
gates were: Jordan Daniels, A. Hawkins, Joe Woolard, B. Woolard, and B. 
Canady. Their first church clerks: C. H. Woolard (1888); J. D. Sparrow, 
(1910). First church school of record, 1885, enrollment 70, including 8 
teachers; J. S. Sparrow, superintendent. Their church property valuation 
in 1930 was $2000. 

Early Disciples environed by denominational profuseness often had hard 
sledding to hold their own. Effective evangelists were all too few. An 
accessible school of the Prophets was but a dream. Means of transportation 
were primitive. Churches about to perish must needs be reconstituted on a 
durable foundation. This may explain the following report, as briefed, of 
evangelist Battle submitted on May 1, 1856. 

I came to Beaverdam where brothers Tyson and John R. Winfield had 
been in a meeting and had baptized 12 persons. Tyson and myself 
continued it to April 20, 1856, Tyson baptizing 5 more. We then aided 
by Elder Thomas J. Latham constituted a church of 16 members with 
encouraging prospects. Old School Baptists and Methodists, our prin- 
cipal opponents in this field are in many instances more friendly after 
hearing us preach. We hope the time is not distant when our churches 
in all this region will be in a more flourishing condition. 

Thomas Green was pastor there in January, 1899, when he wrote: "Sister 
Claudia Canady has presented to the church a handsome communion set, 
costing $16.50, from the Christian Endeavor Society. This society still lives 
and is largely the life of the church. We have a bright outlook." 

In 1900, Dennis Wrighter Davis held their revival adding 8. Writing on 
July 24, he affirmed: 

Beaver Dam has the strongest force of young people capable and 
willing to render valuable service in the church of any congregation in 
our knowledge. It is a great misfortune that Beaver Dam is looked upon 
as being such a very rough place. Like every other neighborhood it has 
in it people who are not Christians — in fact rather reckless. But taken 
as a whole, in point of genuine hospitality it has few equals. In light 
of her opportunities, numbers, and means, it is one of our best churches. 

A ministerial recruit from this church was George Henry Sullivan, (1894- 

Membership at Beaver Dam is reportedly, 522. 

Roll of Ministers at Beaver Dam. 

1881-1883 Augustus Latham, Jr. 1921-1922... J. W. Lollis 

1888 Henry Winfield 1926, 1940, 1941 D. W. Arnold 

1889, 1912, 1920, 1929, 1930 W. I. Bennett 

1923-1928- W. O. Winfield 1931, 1932 Edgar T. Harris 

1898-1900 Thomas Green 1933— J. B. Respess 

1911 T. Yarborough 1934, 1935 Warren A. Davis 

1913, 1914 H. H. Ambrose 1936, 1937 M. Penney 

1915 ... J. R. Tingle 1939 .... R. V. Hope 

1916-1919 J. R. Lee 1942-1952 R. H. Walker 

( 13 ) 


Belhaven is a relatively new town. Rising on a wave of the future, it was 
incorporated in 1899. Its population in 1960 was 2386, not counting tran- 
sients who delightedly come and go in this aquatic eldorado. Its situation 
inspired the name, first Belle Port, lastly the permanent one serving both 
euphony and romance. For almost two centuries after white men settled in 
the Pungo delta, the site of modern Belhaven was a sodden waste of marsh 
and tanglewood. It is but four feet above sea level, while that of Washing- 
ton, thirty miles up the Pamlico, is only nineteen. Albeit these resourceful 
lowlands are widely and soundly appreciated. This section, west of the 
Pungo estuary, from Leechville to Pantego, inclusive, was a part of Hyde 
County until 1819. 

Belhaven came to life as a rising community in 1897, when John Wilkinson 
erected a mill there. A village then gathered to front the wide-sweeping 
river. Almost unique for a North Carolina town, there were prominent Dis- 
ciples among those first on the ground, and today Disciples are the most 
numerous and resourceful religious group of the community. Disciples had 
been in the environs for several decades. 

Five miles east of the present Belhaven was Pungo Chapel. Served by 
pastor John Winfield in 1790, enrolling 100 members, it had long been an 
influential center for the Armenian, or General Baptists. In 1829 this Chapel 
was on the Bethel Conference roll, and came bodily to the Disciples in 1845. 
functioning with this last cooperative fellowship for over 50 years. It dis- 
solved as a local church on November 28, 1897. Some of its remnant of 19 
came immediately to the newly organized Belhaven Disciples. Thomas Green 
of Pantego did the first preaching for the Belhaven start in 1897. W. O. Win- 
field ministered there in April, 1899, when he reported: 

We have no house of worship or organized church at this place, but 
we are blessed with an earnest, consecrated leader in Bro. S. J. Topping 
who is superintendent of the Union Sunday School, and with the assist- 
ance of Misses Cassie Smith, Lorena Barfield, Annie Swindell, and Bro. 
B. W. Lucas, he is succeeding finely. The outlook at this place is good. 

A small frame plant was constructed and opened for service July, 1902. 
A Church Extension loan executed in March, 1903, cleared indebtedness, and 
when Winfield concluded his second pastorate there in October of that year 
the church had 98 members. J. F. Bishop was clerk when the church was 
enrolled by The North Carolina Christian Missionary Convention, October 31, 
1902. As of that date its property valuation was $2000. Its total gifts for 
missions that year was $204.07, largest missionary offering made by any 
church in the State fellowship that year, except Asheville. Following is a 
list of their 24 charter members: 

Mr. and Mrs. Thad Barrow, L. R. Baynor, J. F. Bishop, Mr. and Mrs. 
W. R. Bishop, A. J. Chesson, Mr. and Mrs. W. G. Clayton, Leta Clayton. 
Mr. and Mrs. F. A. Crary, Mamie Crary, Sally Davis, Edward Flynn, Eva 
Latham, Margaret Latham, Clara Ricks, Willis Riddick, Rufus Stadden. 
Mr. and Mrs. S. J. Topping, Etta B. Topping, and S. E. Wilkinson. 

The first elders and deacons were: W. R. Bishop, Thad Barrow, J. F. Bishop, 
F. A. Crary, Sr., Willis Riddick and S. J. Topping. 

Merritt Owen, Washington, N. C, pastor, held a revival for Belhaven in 
July, 1903, "collecting the scattered forces with new members into organized 
work." J. R. Tingle came as their first located minister in December, 1903, 

( 14 ) 

and the first church building was dedicated in July, 1904, while Ben H. Melton 
was conducting a revival there. Pastor J. R. Tingle led in getting the Church 
Extension loan paid by July, 1904, for only a sixteen-months' term of loan, 
instead of five years as contracted. The church prospered under Tingle, and 
built a parsonage also during his ministry. Tingle reported: "The Ladies' 
Aid Society has been a power in this church. Through the Aid most of the 
money has been raised, and they are still laboring and planning for greater 

While H. C. Bowen ministered, he also edited the Disciples' State paper, 
the Carolina Evangel, at Belhaven. The State Convention was entertained 
there in 1907 and again in 1922. State Missions fostered this church from 
the beginning and made direct appropriations to sustain the ministry there 
from 1903 to 1906. 

Disciples outgrew the old frame building and in 1915 erected a handsome 
gray-brick plant on a larger and more prominent site, nearer the business 
district. It was then valued at $15,000. The building committee: S. J. Top- 
ping, chairman; W. S. Riddick, secretary; J. F. Bishop, treasurer; F. L. 
Voliva, Miss Lida Wilkinson, Thad Barrow, Mrs. W. E. Stubbs, E. W. Latham, 
and Mrs. J. D. Pugh. This was dedicated October 31, 1915 by George L. 
Snively, while Hayes Farish was pastor. 

A decade before this, H. C Bowen in reviewing the Belhaven mission had 
said: "This is an example of the most fruitful mission work which it is 
possible for us to do." Nanna Crozier visited there on May 8, 1905, to organ- 
ize their C. W. B. M., now known as C. W. F. Their first officers: president, 
Mrs. Eugene Latham; secretary, Mrs. D. W. Blount; treasurer, Mrs. S. J. 

In their church school, beginners' and primary departments, were newly 
housed, and this adjunctive building costing $1200, was dedicated free of 
debt on January 23, 1921. A local correspondent ventured: "No church 
among North Carolina Disciples has a higher morale or a more cooperative 
spirit." Pastor C. P. Thomas in 1924 baptized 62 converts following the 
Leamon-Rogers Union Meeting. Thomas exulted: "A wonderful transforma- 
tion has been wrought in our town." Next year with building expansion in 
the offing, Lida Wilkinson reported that their Ladies' Aid Society had raised 
$401.61 in a local "Prize Contest" project. 

In 1932, while D. Guy Saunders was minister, changes were effected in the 
plant, making it far more effective for religious education, also providing 
a pastor's study. The church had suffered much from economic reverses to 
the communnty; death had taken a heavy toll; and many dependable Dis- 
ciple families had removed from the city. 

The three Saunders' brothers, John, Joseph, and Guy, held their revival in 
1932 with 18 additions. In 1936, eight new church school rooms were finished 
for use; the pipe organ, Mrs. Robert Lewellyn, organist, was rebuilt; the 
main auditorium was redecorated and kitchen enlarged; an automatic water 
pump was installed to drain the basement; and lumber acquired for build- 
ing a parsonage. H. F. Noble was church school superintendent; the Ladies' 
Aid had 5 circles; and the C.W.F. exceeded goals in giving. There had been 
growing an arrearage on pastor's salary since 1927. J. F. Bishop led in 
sponsoring a bold move in church finance. He bought the local Hotel, passed 
it to the church trustees, who later disposed of it at a profit of $1432 to cut 
the Gordian knot of their cumulative obligation. There was relief in the 
minister's household. 

( 15 ) 

Pastor S. F. Freeman, Jr., located there on November 1, 1936. He stated 
their mutual service ideal: "We promote Christian love first, last, and all the 
time. We deliberately avoid doubtful disputations. We carry on in the best 
tradition of North Carolina Disciples." 

A six-piece orchestra was a musical accompaniment in their church school 
in which James W. Ambrose, Sr., had a leading part, 1911-1960. In October, 
1938, their C.W.F., then known as Woman's Council, enrolled 79, Mrs. H. F. 
Noble, president. Pastor E. H. Eppling, assisted by laymen: F. L. Voliva, 
J. E. Gaylord, H. F. Noble, and J. T. Mckeel gave leadership to nearby mis- 
sion churches for spiritual service. 

In World War II, 75 of their young men enlisted. Three never returned: 
Billy Jay Jones was lost in action; killed in combat were: Murl Brooks in 
Equatarial West Africa, and Walton Latham in the Aleutians. In 1947, their 
parsonage next to the church was acquired. Pastor Ivan Adams was ordained 
there in 1948. The debt on their plant extension was reduced $2000. The 
church paid $835 to meet fully their first year's goal in "Crusade for a Chris- 
tian World". 

A Golden Anniversary came to them in 1952. Pastor George E. Downey 
read the historical sketch. Mrs. Lida Wilkinson Dillistin, one of their oldest 
and most faithful members, attended. Three former pastors attended, and 
felicitations came from five others. The church was given "a beautiful set 
of communion ware in honor of Mr. and Mrs. A. L. Johnston by their sons 
and daughters." In 1955 their parsonage was reconditioned, and sanctuary, 
organ, and roof, refurbished. The C.W.F. gave $485 to meet their year's goal. 
The W. L. Johnston's gave cross and candlesticks for the Communion service. 
Seven Belhaven Disciples attended their World Convention at Toronto, 
Canada. In November, 1955, the church had reached double annual giving 
as compared with 1950. 

Ground was broken for a new parsonage on May 6, 1956. The building 
was completed and the lawn landscaped within seven months. Pastor Billy 
Taylor was the new occupant. A Hot Air Heating System was installed debt- 
free in 1957; the special committee for the project: Cleve Woodward, Charles 
Latham, Floyd Lupton. An annual current expense budget of $7,000 was 
adopted. Fund for a new electronic organ was started; Mrs. Ruth Johnston, 
treasurer. Their C.M.F. was organized in December, 1957, to lead in spon- 
soring several property improvements. Their officers: president, Gene A. 
Purvis; vice president, Dr. Tom Suther; secretary-treasurer, Floyd Lupton. 

At Easter, 1958, their new Baldwin organ was first used, and was dedicated 
on July 27, 1958. Mrs. J. T. McKeel became their first paid organist. C. W. F. 
officers in 1958 were: president, Mrs. Gladys Clark; vice president, Mrs. 
Jule Purvis; secretary, Mrs. El wood Midgette; treasurer, Mrs. Axson Smith. 
The Westminster Studios of Florida were engaged to rebuild the stained- 
glass windows. A comprehensive church library was started. 

In January, 1959, their choir was provided with Sandalwood robes trimmed 
with maroon stoles. Gene A. Purvis gave an elegant pulpit Bible, (R. S. V.) 
in honor of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Purvis. 

A special evangelistic campaign goal was exceeded on Decision Day, Feb- 
ruary 19, 1961, when there were 19 accessions to the church. 

Membership at Belhaven is reportedly 210. 

Rolls of Ministers at Belhaven. 

1S97.._ _____ ...Thomas Green 1899-1901, 1902 W. O. Winfield 

1898 G. T. Tyson 1902 D. W. Davis 

( 16 ) 

1904-1906 J. R. Tingle 1938-1940 E. H. Eppling 

1907 W. C. Wade 1941-1945 Allen Wilson 

1908-1910 H. C. Bowen 1946 J. D. Kitchen, Jr. 

1911-1914 J. D. Waters 1947 G. D. Davis, Jr. 

1915-1920 Hayes Farish 1948 Ivan Adams 

1922, 1923 S. L. Jackson 1949-1953 George E. Downey 

1924, 1925 C. P. Thomas 1955, 1956 Frank Leggett, Jr. 

1926. 1927 J. W. Lollis 1957-1959 William F. Taylor, Jr. 

1928-1936 D. Guy Saunders 1960, 1961 ._W. Ballenger 

1937 S. F. Freeman, Jr. 


A half-dozen rivers indent the northern shore of Albemarle Sound. These 
streams variously shape a like number of promontories from Currituck 
Sound westward to the Chowan-Roanoke estuary. On one of these headlands 
nine miles east of Hertford, is historic Durants Neck. Its name sterns from 
George Durant, colonial planter, who bought a tract in that locality from 
his Indian friend, Chief Kilcocanen. The deed is extant, dated March 1, 1661. 
Nearby also is the site of Captain John Heckinfield's home, Capitol of the 
Albemarle Assembly of long ago. 

In this traditional setting is Berea Christian Church. A letter from Mrs. 
Maria L. Smith to J. J. Harper's Christian Visitor, dated Hertford, N. C, 
August 28, 1887, said: 

There was only one congregation [Bethlehem] of Disciples in Per- 
quimans County until the first week in August, 1887. Brethren W. O. 
Winfield and Dennis Wrighter Davis were sent to Durant's Neck by the 
Albemarle Union Meeting where they preached several days and received 
29 into the body of Christ. The most bitter opposition against them was 
waged to prevent the people from hearing the Gospel, but the truth pre- 
vailed. In the midst of combined opposition a church has been estab- 
lished [Berea] at Durant's Neck composed of some good material. It 
is only a short distance from where George Durant settled. J. L. Win- 
field has since preached here and his sermons have thoroughly estab- 
lished the ancient Gospel in what he called the historic part of North 

Berea was enrolled by the Disciples' State Convention on October 26, 1890. 
J. W. Umphlett was clerk, reporting 26 members, who had given a total of 
$50 that year for current expense. Next year Samuel J. Sutton was clerk, 
and the church gave $2 for brotherhood-related missions. Their church school 
in 1890 enrolled 45, including 10 teachers; Samuel J. Sutton, superintendent; 
J. P. Crawford, secretary; total gifts for the year, $3.50. In 1891 their 
church school superintendent was W. H. Knight; J. Jackson, secretary. Two 
Disciple ministers, 1884-1890, lived in this section called "over the Sound", 
namely: J. W. Trotman at Hertford, and E. L. Sowers at Harbinger. Pre- 
viously H. C. Bowen had lived at Hertford, (1880), and J. L. Burns, at Powell's 
Point, (1882). Berea's property valuation in 1930 was $1,000. The State 
Service helped to sustain Berea's ministry in 1893, and 1904-1906. 

Spiritual tides rose and fell at this isolated church. This was clearly indi- 
cated by pastor J. S. Henderson in September 1904. He said: 

We have good congregations and splendid attention. We have a fine 
Lord's Day School with an attendance of about 60 which is a great help 
to the church. The young men of the church, (young converts at that), 

( 17 ) 

are conducting a fine prayer meeting. About a year ago there was no 
organized body here while at this time we number 35. We plan to put 
a new cover on the house. I can see here a brilliant prospect of doing 
much good. 

The next month, T. H. Fitzwater, active layman, added: "We are growing 
spiritually at Berea. We are glad that J. S. Henderson came back to the 
relief of the weak which was about 14 in number, but now 35." 

R. H. Jones, Ayden pastor, evangelized there in 1906, resulting in 10 addi- 
tions. Fitzwater reported on August 7: "We think our minister, J. S. Hen- 
derson, was wise in getting Bro. R. H. Jones of Ayden, for the evangelistic 
work of this church for we are in the midst of great opposition and strife." 

A revival there in 1937 added 9. Interior improvements to the plant that, 
year provided a new pulpit and choir lofts for both seniors and juniors. 
Plans were also drawn "to level up the floor of the church, build a new vesti- 
bule, and put in new windows." 

In May 1945, pastor P. E. Cayton said: "We have finished our church 
school rooms at Berea — five very beautiful rooms. This greatly helps Berea 
where I preach each fourth Sunday. I am serving six churches this year." 

Membership at Berea is reportedly 175. 

Roll of Ministers at Berea. 

1902-1906 J. S Henderson 1928-1930 George R. Smith 

1911, 1913, 1914 C. E. Lee 1931, 1932 George A. Moore 

1912 Dennis Wrighter Davis 1933-1936 Malcolm Penney 

1915-1918 Thomas Green 1937-1940 „_ .M. L. Ambrose 

1921 Herman Hempel 1941, 1942 G. Oliver Gard 

1922, 1926 Paul T. Ricks 1943 C. R. Harrison 

1923, 1924 H. H. Ambrose 1944-1948 .P. E. Cayton 

1925 J. S. Williams 


State Missions cooperating with the Albemarle Union established the 
Disciples' work in Perquimans County in the 1880's. In the open country 
southeast of Hertford is Bethlehem, a sister church of Berea. H. C. Bowen 
and Joe Grey Gurganus were the founding ministers of Bethlehem, having 
50 members worshipping at Wynn schoolhouse, when enrolled by The North 
Carolina Christian Missionary Society on October 9, 1880. In rural churches 
the name is a favorite. In Hebrew it means "House of Bread". A village 
by that name is the birthplace of One who said: "I am the living bread." 
(John 6:51.) 

In the Disciples' State Convention of 1880 a resolution was adopted to 
assure permanence for the cause in Perquimans. It was presented by the 
veteran, Josephus Latham, and specified that $200 of State Mission funds be 
appropriated to H. C. Bowen, "to help sustain him in the field," particularly 
in that County. It further provided: "That all of the money now in the 
treasury of the Conference be paid over to Bro. Bowen immediatley that he 
may enter at once upon his work." 

Bowen, "the Perquimans Evangelist", made his annual report to the State 
Convention at Robersonville, October S, 1881. As the minutes record it: 

The Evangelist of Perquimans Mission reported that he had labored 
one year in that field, confining himself to a small compass; received 
from all sources, $342.91; raised for building purposes, about $50; dis- 

( IS ) 

tributed about 2000 pages of tracts; added 19 to the church; aud assisted 
the church in securing the services of Bro. Joe Grey Gurganus for next 
Conference year. He recommended to strengthen the weak churches in- 
stead of occupying new fields. 

Bethlehem's delegates to Disciples' State Conventions were: J. W. Trot- 
man, H. C. Bowen, J. J. Smith, G. W. Wingate, and T. R. Cullipher, who was 
also their clerk. In 1890 their membership had grown to 67, total annual 
giving, iocal church purposes, $22.90, and to brotherhood-related missions, 
$10.86. Their church school enrolled 46, including 9 teachers; T. R. Culli- 
pher. superintendent; A. R. Bond, secretary. Their church property valua- 
tion in 1901 was $500; in 1930, $1,000. State Missions assisted on ministers' 
salary there, 1880, 1881, 1893, 1905, 1906, 1911. 

Evangelist J. L. Burns went to Bethlehem on August 19, 18S2, to begin a 
revival. An accident befell him, as he recounted: 

During the afternoon in attempting to lean my chair against the 
corner post in the piazza at Bro. Cullipher's, the chair broke through the 
floor, and threw me out on the ground, bruising my head severely and 
breaking two of my ribs. The meeting stopped. After suffering great 
pain for 14 days, I was helped into a buggy, carried to Hertford, took 
steamer, went home to Powells point, and filled my appointment there 
at home September 3, also on the 19th. 

On September 11, he returned to conclude the Bethlehem revival: "had 
four additions and fine interest left in the community; the church greatly 
encouraged." Next year, J. T. Walsh led their revival, J. L. Burns assisting. 
Walsh's report as briefed: 

I preached 13 times and was paid $5.00. The congregations increased, 
many being drawn out to hear me from Bethel, a Baptist church near-by, 
where I had evangelized with the same Christian Gospel 27 years before, 
resulting in 40 baptisms, and where they endorsed all of my preaching 
and seemed to enjoy it. The Bethlehem brethren, though busy in fodder, 
worked hard to get the house in condition to be used on this occasion. 
Bro. Burns was with me who would have continued the meeting but a 
severe storm was approaching. 

On August 28, 1887, Mrs. Maria L. Smith, fluent Perquimans correspondent 
wrote to J. J Harper's Christian Visitor as follows: 

Bro. J. L. Winfield on August 21 was at Bethlehem and preached. It 
was pronounced an able sermon. Bro. W. O. Winfield has been pastor 
here for the last two years but now goes to the Bible College at Lexing- 
ton, Ky. He has done a grand work here. We dislike to give him up, but 
glad to know he will better prepare himself for the work. The Union 
Meeting of the Albemarle District is to assemble at Bethlehem on Octo- 
ber 28-30, 1887. 

Pastor W. O. Winfield gave this account in May, 1899: '"The church at 
Bethlehem is weak financially and numerically but a braver, truer body 
of Disciples it would be difficult to find. Our congregations have increased 
at least fifty percent in the last six months." The next month, J. J. Smith, 
layman, wrote: "Our C. E. Society is progressing finely. The outlook is 
very encouraging. Mrs. K. H. Harrell is president, and W. T. Jones, vice 
president." T. R. Cullipher "untiring worker" added: "We are preparing 
to observe Children's Day for Foreign Missions. Our C. E. Society has 36 

t 19 ) 

W. H. Smith, Jr. was their clerk, September 12, 1905, when their corre- 
spondent A. R. Sutton, wrote as briefed: 

We are lew in number from various causes. Within the past eight 
years there have been 10 deaths and 34 have moved away. Two members 
were turned out. A few seem to have grown cold. We are peaceable, 
Christ-loving people and desire His cause to grow. Bro. J. S. Henderson 
has been preaching here about three years. He has done much good 
work. His time will expire in October. With the right one to succeed 
him this church may grow, and some day be a great help to the other 
weak churches. 

Harry Corprew, layman, reported the Bethlehem revival held by their 
pastor, C. E. Lee, September 10-21, 1913, with 4 additions. Corprew's ap- 
praisal: "Bro. Lee preaches always with simplicity and power. His sermons 
mark the way of Christian living. We all like him very much." 

Membership at Bethlehem is reportedly 70. 

Roll of Ministers at Bethlehem. 

1881 J. G. Gurganus 1917-1919, 1922 J. C. Coggins 

1882 J. L. Burns 1920 L. A. Mayo 

1883, 1884 J. W. Trotman 1921 H. T. Bowen 

1885, 1887, 1899, 1900 _.W. O. Winfield 1923, 1924, 1932, 1933 H. H. Ambrose 

1888, 1889 D. W. Davis 1925, 1926 H. L. Freeman 

1902 J. S. Henderson 1927-1929 S. Tyler Smith 

1911-1913 C. E. Lee 1930, 1931 Malcolm Penney 

1914, 1915 Thomas Green 1936-1946 W. O. Henderson 

1916 __JD. F. Tyndall 


In Bodwell's Schoolhouse, Tyrrell County, three miles east of Columbia 
near Jerry, (pop. 10), M. L. Ambrose evangelized in the summer of 1933, 
baptized 12 persons, and organized a church of 15 charter members named 
Cabin Swamp. The location is two miles from Sharon, a church of like faith, 
out Riders Creek way, having in 1911, 35 members, with D. A. Hudson, 
native of the community, preaching for it; L. W. Swain, clerk, and Stewart 
Hassell, church school superintendent. Sharon with church property valua- 
tion of only $100, declined to 5 members in 1930. This remnant came to the 
new church transferring to them their organ, communion set, and pews. It 
followed that Cabin Swamp enrolled with The North Carolina Christian 
Missionary Convention on November 9, 1934. 

The church readily became a unit in the Columbia group, of which Roy 
O. Respess was then pastor. He preached at Cabin Swamp each second 
Sunday afternoon. Their church correspondent was James West; Robert 
Barnes superintended their church school. It was said: "As no other church 
is within three miles, the prospects are good for a live church." In 1935 
their membership had grown to 50, and their church school enrolled 40. 
There was further increase by 14 baptisms the next year. 

Membership at Cabin Swamp is reportedly 45. 

Roll of Ministers at Cabin Swamp. 

1933 R. O. Respess 1936-1938 P. E. Cayton 

1934, 1935 M. L. Ambrose 1941-1950 W. P. Armstrong 

( 20 ) 


South of Everetts and near Robersonville is Christian Chapel known locally 
as "Cross Roads." Stanley Ayers, (1831-1910), pioneer Disciple itinerant and 
chaplain in the army of the C.S.A., founded it in 1857. Its 20 members in- 
creased to 52 the next year. Ayers in 1857 was enrolled by the Disciples state 
meeting. His home on Bear Grass Creek was two miles south of Christian 
Chapel; his grave is about the same distance from the church. At a memo- 
rial service for him at the church on October 11, 1936, three of his grandsons 
present, were: Oscar Ayers, Leslie Ayers, and Archie Roberson. 

The Disciples' State Convention Minutes of 1857, (October 11), record it 
as a "new church admitted." There were then but two other churches of 
this faith in Martin County, namely, Taylors Chapel, (Maple Grove), and 
Welch's Creek, (near Dardens). Altogether these three churches had 97 
members. Fourteen of their laymen represented Christian Chapel in Dis- 
ciples' State Convention, as follows: T. Ayers, W . H.Wilson, J. B. Leggett, 
J. R. Robinson, J. R. Roebuck, McG. Britton, Edward B. Roebuck, Henry 
Wynn, J. J. Swain, M. G. Rawls, W. K. Woolard, R. D. Woolard, W. A. Gur- 
ganus, H. D. Cowen. First clerks: W. H. Wilson, (1878); McG. Britton, 
(1885); J. B. Ayers, (1889). Its church property valuation in 1901 was 
$700; in 1930, $1500. Some ministerial recruits from this church: Stanley 
Ayers, Dallas Ayers, Tommie Roebuck, J. Thomas Brown. 

Pastor Thomas Green reporting his monthly visit there on February 11, 
1900, said: "We placed envelopes with every family possible, and we expect a 
liberal offering in March for Foreign Missions. Through the efforts of Sister 
Sallie J. Gurganus the church was presented with a handsome communion 

H. S. Davenport held their revival in September, 1900, preached to "over- 
flowing houses," added 20, and remarked: "I was pleased to meet Bro. 
Stanley Ayers, one of the old pioneer preachers of Martin County. His 
membership is at this church, and though he has lost one eye, and is other- 
wise afflicted, and is 69 years old, still preaches, and rendered valuable assist- 
ance in this meeting. I found the brethren all warm-hearted, social, and 
lovers of hospitality." Two of their active laymen at that time were: John 
B. Leggett, and Joseph A. Ausbon. Young lady volunteers to solicit the 
evangelist's pay, and who turned in a "nice sum," according to his grateful 
acknowledgement, were: Maggie, Hattie, and Lena Wynn, Gertie Woolard, 
and Sophia Leggett. 

October, 1900, was State Missions month. Thomas Green, pastor with 
vision, raised $5.50 there for that brotherhood-related cause, confessing: "It 
is not as much as we wished, but we are glad to note that this church with 
the entire brotherhood is imbibing more of the mission spirit. We hope 
there is a brighter day not far off for State Work. May we all confess 
that we have not done our best." 

In December, 1900, S. E. Roberson and J. T. Barnhill were added to their 
local church board. Green said: "Under their watchful care we look for 
success." He had asked the veteran, H. S. Davenport to preach for him at 
"Cross Roads" on March 10, 1901, exhorting him: "Now you prepare a stir- 
ring sermon on Foreign Missions, Bro. Davenport. Our brethren only want 
to know their duty. They are willing and able." 

J. M. Perry, Robersonville pastor, held the Christian Chapel revival in 1921, 
with 49 additions. Likewise J. A. Taylor served them in 1929, adding 9. 

( 21 ) 

R. A. Phillips was then the local pastor, who said of Taylor: "His messages 
were deeply spiritual, ever ringing clear with Christian love." 

C. C. Ware on November 12, 1933, assisted by pastor Warren A. Davis, 
ordained these officers: elders: Herbert L. Roebuck, Oscar Ayers; deacons: 
Frank Bailey, Paul Leggett, John Jackson, Gaston James. Other officers 
there had previously been ordained. 

Building improvements were noted in March, 1936. "A new roof is on, 
new ceiling, new mats on the floor, and new shades for the windows. The 
audience room is now much more attractive." Four years later the school- 
house beside their church plant was "remodeled into a good, serviceable par- 
sonage of six rooms." The pastoral unity minister first occupied it with his 
family in November, 1936. 

Membership at Christian Chapel is reportedly 400. 

Roll of Ministers at Christian Chapel. 

1881... Gideon Allen 1929, 1930 R. A Phillips 

1882 J. R. Winfield 1931 L. T. Holliday 

1883 _ Henry Winfield 1932 D. W Arnold 

1884-1892.. : Stanley Ayers 1933-1936.. ...Warren A. Davis 

1897-1901 Thomas Green 1937, 1938 R. V. Hope 

1909-1911; 1913-1919 S. W. Sumrell 1940 .. F. A. Lilley 

1912; 1922-1928 C. B Lee 1941-1948 Dennis Warren Davis 

1920. 1921 George A. Moore 1910, 1950 ...P. E. Cayton 


It is south of Plymouth in southwestern Washington County. In the Hoke- 
Ilinson vicinity it is reached by State Highway, 32. It is the oldest church 
of its faith in the County, and from their oldest church in Martin County. 
Welch's Creek, its beginning is traceable. At first called Long Ridge it was 
by "motion agreed that it be received by this Conference"; so reads the min- 
utes, when on October 13, 1853, it was enrolled by the Disciples' Annual State 
Meeting. It reported 32 members, but grew to 49 in 1S54, when it was given 
the name of Christian Hope. 

John M. Gurganus, (1802-1876), its founding father, was a native of the 
locality. Of him, Josephus Latham said: "His fine standing as a pure Chris- 
tian combined with a great zeal and warmth of heart had a powerful effect 
in winning souls. When but a youth I learned to love him." This Gurganus 
home was prolific with preachers matching that of the Enoch Holtons of 
Broad Creek in Pamlico. 

Eighteen delegates represented Christian Hope in the State's Disciples' 
Annual Meetings as follows: Henry L. Gurganus, D. H Davis, Downing 
Davis, J. B. Respess, S. Jackson, Joseph Gurganus, J. W. Girkin, A. Jackson, 
L. Jackson, A. O. Gurganus, Thomas E. Burgess, L. Jackson, Jr., Harvey 
Gardner, E. B. Gurganus, James L. Sullivan, L. A. Sullivan, H. S. Gurganus. 
G. W. Jackson, Jr. Their first clerks: S. L. Jackson, (.1878); C. W. Gurganus, 
(1887). Their church property valuation in 1901 was $200; in 1930, $1000. 

Evangelist Amos Johnston Battle told of visiting Christian Hope in Octo- 
ber, 1855, "to defend the Christian Church" from sectarian attacks, "which 
defense I trust has placed our principles in a true light before a large and 
very attractive congregation." 

Forced to disband during the war, it was reorganized in 1866, with 24 mem- 
bers, increasing to 50 within two years. Henry Smith Gurganus rehabilitated 

( 22 ) 

them, and became their mainstay in leadership during his exceptionally long 

Thomas Green, (1857-1919), was their evangelist in September, 1895. He 
resided then in Pantego, but was a native of Nansemond County, Va. There 
were 11 additions; the church was "much revived." Green had united when 
33 years old with the Disciples at Christian Hope, and hence regarded it 
affectionately. He said: "This is my home church. Here in April, 1890, I 
accepted the truth; this being the place I love." He returned to lead there 
another revival, September 11-18, 1899, resulting in 10 additions. 

Here was a circumstantial arena for debate. An exegetical controversy 
on the 13th chapter of John flamed through many years on this Long Ridge 
sector of a free-swinging Protestantism. The confident crusader, Thomas 
Green "took the bull by the horns", on Sunday morning, September 9, 1900. 
His well-announced "Bible Lecture," drew a large expectant crowd for his 
competent interpretation of the "feet-washing" issue, as scripturally treated 
in the whole. The local church clerk, George W. Jackson, Jr., said that his 
pastor amply sustained the clear concepts of the Disciples of Christ on the 
mooted passage. Christian Hope and its mother church, Welch's Creek had 
primitively practiced ceremoniel feet-washing but as enlightneed Disciples 
had put it away. 

P. S. Swain, revivalist, there in 1902, adding 7, took occasion to honor 
Henry Smith Gurganus, then 77 years old. Said Swain, "His life has been 
above reproach as his long pastorate of 37 years at his home church will 
attest. He is esteemed by all and greatly loved by his people." 

Mrs. W. D. Harris reported their revival occurring in September 1904. 
There had been 15 additions, "all young people and good material, too." 
Further: "The brethren have the new house of worship almost ready to 
dedicate. It is a good, neat structure and does credit to the vicinity. We 
have a good pastor, Bro. Thomas Green, who is also a strong preacher. We 
all love him." 

Besides Thomas Green, ministerial recruits at this church, were: John M. 
Gurganus and his three sons, Henry Smith, John W., and Joseph Grey. The 
father and the first two of his sons named above, rest in the Christian Hope 
cemetery, while Joe Grey is buried at Saint's Delight. 

During Easter week-end, 1942, a forest fire destroyed their plant which had 
been dedicated 38 years before. Flames started on the west side of Long 
Ridge road quickly engulfed the house of worship, and only the communion 
set and piano were salvaged. A new frame plant has housed the congregation 
for nearly 20 years. 

Membership at Christian Hope is reportedly 150. 

Roll of Ministers at Christian Hope. 

1866-1902 .H. S Gurganus 1920-1925 C.E.Lee 

1911, 1912, 1927-1929 _ John R. Smith 1926, 1930.- _-„J. B. Respess 

1913 H. H. Ambrose 1931-1933 J. F. Padgett 

1914-1918 Thomas Green 1935-1939 _.. D. W. Arnold 


Columbia is the seat of justice for Tyrrell, the States most thinly popu- 
lated County. The town's population in 1960 was 1099. Four names have 
designated it. Explorers in 1680 called its location "Heart's Delight;" later 

( 2 3 ) 

as a trading post it was Shallop's Landing; again, 1793 to 1800, it was the 
"Town," Elizabeth; while from 1801 onward, since there were so many 
Elizabeths on the Tarheel coast; it has been known as Columbia. Postal 
prerogatives now spread this name with its antique connotations through 
17 States from Alabama to Virginia. Tyrrell's Columbia is six miles from 
Albemarle Sound, and nestles on the east bank of Scuppernong River. This 
River's name is redolent with Indian lore; the term being colonially applied 
not merely to the famous grape but also to the section of land from Columbia 
to Creswell. Its meaning: "at the place of the sweet bay tree." 

The postmaster there in 1834 was John P. Jordan, "annual compensation," 
$36.29; in 1S39, N. A. Brickhouse drew $52.56, as evidence of growth. A 
gazetteer of 1845 gives its situation as 200 miles east of Raleigh, and 324 
from Washington, D. C. Further: "It contains a courthouse and several 
stores and dwellings." In 1851 it was the only postoffice in Tyrrell. Just 
one lawyer was there in 1867, Thomas J. Jarvis, later Governor of the State. 
Two doctors served the town, Leigh Edgar, and Ransom Edward. There 
were seven merchants. 

Columbia loomed as an evangelizing objective for the Disciples in Feb- 
ruary, 1884. G. W Walker, West Virginia itinerant, and J. B. Parsons, his 
Tarheel colleague, issued a poster printed in The Watch Tower office, Wash- 
ington, advertising that they would forthwith give "a series of discourses" 
in the Tyrrell metropolis. J. L. Winfield the editor added: '"We hope to 
receive a gratifying report of the meeting." H. S. Davenport, roving am- 
bassador for the Christians, observed that Walker alone had preached in 
Columbia, February 7-10, 1884. At first it was in the hotel of W. R. Spruill, 
Esquire, "one of the best hotel men in the State," said Davenport. But it 
was at the instance of Mrs. Spruill, "one of Columbia's brightest ornaments, 
who threw her doors wide open and thus Bro. Walker was saved the humilia- 
tion of preaching in the public street." The local Methodist minister then 
offered his church for speaking which was "thankfully accepted," and there 
on February 10, 1884, "the Lord's Supper was observed for the first time by 
Disciples in Columbia where all who felt inclined partook." That night, 
evangelist Walker preached "to a crowded house." 

It was a long time before a sustained effort by the Disciples materialized 
in this friendly community. J. W. Swain, local layman, on May 13, 1888, 
wrote: "We want a good preacher in this County. We are destitute. Our 
beloved Bro. J. L. Burns was with us last winter and made a lasting impres- 
sion on a large number of our people. Everybody that heard him gave him 
praise as a Christian gentleman and Bible teacher." 

Fourteen years later, George L. Liverman was resident there as Tyrrell's 
Clerk of Court. He and Captain B. F. Cox, and M. F. Haskett arranged for 
W. O. Winfield to protract a preaching service in their Courthouse, May 13-21, 
1902. Haskett, a preacher, but also "janitor" for the meeting, and reporter 
for the paper said: "It was said by many that no such preaching had ever 
been heard in this County. The Courthouse though quite large was filled to 
overflowing most of the time. The truth is established. About $300 was sub- 
scribed toward a church building. We intend to have it ready for preaching 
by the spring of 1903." Evangelist Winfield's account, as briefed: 

The Disciples here numbering twelve or fifteen have no building, but a 
stronger, truer, braver, band would be hard to find. We have an option 
on a nice site which is a corner lot for $150. Our building committee: 
B. F. Armstrong, chairman; G. L Liverman, secretary-treasurer; C. W. 
Smith, B. L. Brickhouse, J. B Walker, J. S. Swain, M. F. Haskett. They 

( 24 ) 

plan a nice, modern building, and if the State Convention will aid them 
in securing some good preacher next year and the Union help them in 
building, the cause in Tyrrell will prosper as never before. 

In the following September, W. G. Johnston, Kinston pastor, "lectured 
in Columbia in the Methodist Church to a goodly audience." Further, John- 
ston observed: "Bro. Winfleld has made a favorable impression on the 
community. The Disciples' lot is bought and they expect to build soon. Bro. 
G. L. Liverman is the leading spirit in this work which will prosper under 
his guidance." 

A paragraph in the State Convention minutes of 1905, states: 

J. B. Walker of the Columbia church, a member of the building com- 
mittee there, was heard. He stated that there were 20 members and 
that there was a church building under contract. The church has em- 
ployed I. W. Rogers and asks for $75 to help on his salary. 

W. Graham Walker, (not to be confused with the G. W. Walker of 1SS4). 
was provided by the State Service to hold their two-week's revival with 14 
additions in May, 1907. They owed $1200 on their plant. He characterized 
them as "one of the noblest bands in the State; many would have given up 
long since. This puts some of the strongest churches among us to shame." 

The next year, evangelist H. C. Bowen was there for the September revival. 
He said that I. W. Rogers had served that pastorate for three years, and had 
"led in completing a very nice plant and had reduced the debt to about $100." 
Bowen continued: "They are still in need of a good bell and communion set. 
A remnant from our old Sharon church are among the most loyal Disciples 
at Columbia." 

The church was enrolled by The North Carolina Christian Missionary Con- 
vention on October 26, 1905, with 43 members. Earliest clerks of record, 
there, W. J. Cofield, (1907); A. C. Tatum, (1911). Their church property 
valuation in 1907 was $3,000. Their church school in 1915 enrolled 35, J. F. 
West, superintendent; some later superintendents: Alton Sawyer, Butler 
Xooney. State Missions helped financially in sustaining their pastorate in 
1905-1909; 1941-1943; 1945. 

On August 14, 1921, their recently reconditioned plant was dedicated by 
J. A. Taylor, Plymouth pastor. The service was well planned. The debt of 
$300 "was raised in cash and pledges — mostly cash." Captain B. F Cox in 
an urgent appeal for a resident pastor, said: "Any preacher who has lived 
in Columbia will say that it is a good place to live. We have learned that 
imported sermons will not keep us out of cold storage." 

In March, 1932, they had their resident pastor in their pastoral-unity par- 
sonage at nearby Creswell, namely R. O. Respess. A successor ten years 
later was L. B. Bennett, when in the spring of 1942, the Emergency Million 
campaign reached to this Albemarle-Columbia-Philippi-Scuppernong group. 
It was to raise much needed funds for the cooperative brotherhood work at 
home and abroad. Pastor Bennett declared: 

It is most gratifying that Emergency Million had almost unanimous 
response throughout these four churches; only $8 short of total goal for 
all, and we hope to raise that. It helped us. I am grateful for both the 
spirit shown by the folk and the visit of the missionary, S. S. McWilliams, 
with us. We have some of the best folk in the world to whom we min- 
ister, eager for the truth, and ready to be led. 

Paul Liverman reported a successful year there in 1942, "made possible 
through aid from State Missions and Roanoke District." They raised $200 

( 25 ) 

to apply on building improvements including new church school rooms. Their 
school averaged 40 in attendance; Christian Endeavor 30, and their C. W. F. 
had 20 members. 

The Albemarle Christian Missionary Union met there in March, 1949. In 
1955, H. G James held his second revival there, when because of Connie, the 
hurricane, church-goers had to wade to the services. They advanced to 
half-time preaching in 1957, their new officers being, elders: John Hardison, 
W. B. Nooney, John T. Combs; deacons: Paul Liverman, A. K. Spencer, W. G. 
Liverman, Sanford Harris. 

Pastor Ralph Messick installed their new CW.F. officers in June, 1958, 
namely: president, Mrs. John Hardison; vice president, Mrs. Willie Spencer; 
secretary, Martha Sykes; treasurer, Mrs. J. W. Hamilton; worship director. 
Mrs. Willie Spencer; study director, Mrs. Gladys Sawyer; service director, 
Mrs. Joe Alexander. 

Membership at Columbia is reportedly, 78. 

Roll of Ministers at Columbia. 

1909 - R. L. Philpot 1946 Lloyd Crowe 

1911-1913.. ... C. B. Mashburn 1947 ...G.C.Bland 

1914 .Warren A. Davis 1948. C. J. Brown 

1917-1919; 1922 J. C. Coggins 1949,1950 F. A. Lilley 

1920 L. A. Mayo 1951-1954 ......W. J. Waters 

1924, 1925 ... George A. Moore 1955, 1956 Darrell Huffman 

1927, 1928 W. O. Winfleld 1957.. ...Leslie Wilkins 

1929, 1937 R. O. Respess 1958, 1959 . Ralph Messick 

1938-1945 ... ....L.B.Bennett 1960, 1961 Kenneth Moore 

1944. 1945 Perry F. Baldwin 


This church is in Tyrrell County on R. F. D. 1, Columbia. It reported 40 
members when enrolled by The North Carolina Christian Missionary Con- 
vention November 5, 1926. The Columbia pastor preached there each sec- 
ond Sunday afternoon. In 1928 it paid $38 for their revival, resulting in 11 
additions. Its church school then enrolled 25. In 1932, R. O. Respess former 
pastor there, was their summer evangelist, adding 4. First clerks were: 
W. L. Ainsley, (1927); Nathaniel Ainsley, (1929); Alonzo Armstrong, (1946). 

In 1929, Cross Landing gave $4.50 to Unified Promotion, for brotherhood- 
related agencies of Disciples of Christ; likewise $39 in 1946. 

Membership at Cross Landing is reportedly 35. 

Roll of Ministers at Cross Landing. 

1926, 1929-1935.... ... R. O. Respess 1936-1938 .P. E. Cayton 

1927 W. O. Winfield 1939-1941 L. B. Bennett 

1928 H. T. Bowen 1942-1950 W. P. Armstrong 


Among Carolina's coastal antiquities Edenton bears the image of the his- 
toric. Both in fact and in fiction it enjoys the role of a picturesque continu- 
ance. Now in the smallest county of the State, this "Cadle of the Colony" 
was incorporated in 1722, one year ahead of New Bern and seventeen years 
before Wilmington. Missionary John Urmstone contending that the library 

( 26 ) 

at Bath was all but mythical, pulled hard for the establishment of a like 
utility at Edenton. Whereupon Edward Moseley, Esquire, in 1723, supplied 
59 titles in a "Catalogue of Books" given "to the Honorable and Most August 
Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts." It was part 
of the plan looking "towards a Provincial Library for the Government of 
North Carolina to be kept at Edenton, which is the Metropolis of that 
Province. - ' (Col. Rec. 2, 585). 

Edenton had no public relations functionary in June, 179S, when it was 
described as containing 'above 150 indifferent wooden buildings and a few 
handsome ones. Its situation is advantageous for trade, but unhealthy". 
Again in 1818 this "seaport" is said to have had "a population about 1500, an 
elegant courthouse, a jail, a bank, and an Episcopal Church." Also, "a 
newspaper is published here." 

In the early 1920s a stream of industrial workers were drawn to this 
growing town on the beautiful bay. Many of these came from rural Christian 
Churches in Tyrrell, Washington, and adjacent Counties where the seed had 
been diligently sown "beside all waters." The old fellowships were rebuilt 
into a sizeable entity. The new church arose with fervor and was enrolled 
on October 12, 1924, with 101 members, by The North Carolina Christian 
Missionary Convention. In pre-Easter evangelism led by Roy 0. Respess in 
1926, nine were added. He concluded: "We are looking for a great ingather- 
ing of souls at Edenton in the near future, for the field is white." 

Only "part-time" preaching could be maintained in the beginning with 
State Missions aid. However a "full-time" ministry was provided, beginning 
May 6, 1934. On the following June 2, C. C Ware led in ordaining there the 
following: elders: P. E. Cayton, Thomas Harris, David Twiddy, John L. 
Wright; deacons: George Harris, Eather Alexander, Robert Wright, Lewis 
Knox, James F. Arnold, Samuel Wright; deaconesses: Mesdames Esther 
Alexander, Samuel Wright. A report at that time: "There is a fine young 
people's work here, and all departments of the work show encouraging 

The congregation relapsed into "half-time" preaching in 193S, while W. O. 
Henderson, Elizabeth City pastor served them on first and third Sunday 
afternoons. That year he held their revival with 28 additions and led them 
in adopting the envelope system of giving. He added: "They need help and 
direction of our State Service; especially they need a hard-working, depend- 
able, consecrated pastor." 

G. Oliver Gard was their student minister from Atlantic Christian College, 
for four years prior to his graduation, August 18, 1943. During this period 
there were 29 additions. Reviewing his service, Gard said: "My four years 
of ministry from the College has carried me more than three times around 
the world. Our missionary work at Edenton constantly increased in its 
support, and the spirit of fellowship was good." 

C. C. Ware led a second ordination service there on February 17, 1946, 
assisted by pastor, W. O. Henderson. The following were ordained: elders: 
Tom Basnight, Eather Alexander; deacons: W. B. Cayton, T. F. Twiddy. 
Henry Smith, William Wright; deaconesses: Mesdames: Cora Wright, Henry 
Rogerson, Miss Violet Alexander. Six others he had ordained twelve years 
before. In 1947, pastor Henderson was their evangelist, adding 24. 

At Easter, 1949, their church school attendance reached 264; their pastor 
E. C. Alexander was also superintendent. Five new class rooms had been 
added to their plant. A new electric organ with loud speaker attachment 

( 27 ) 

had been provided. Mrs. E. C. Alexander, and Violet Alexander were the 
organists; a large choir assisted. Their plant needed enlargement to care 
for steady, consistent increase in the personnel of all departments. David 
Twiddy taught their Men's Class, growing to attendance of 90 in June 1949. 
Fred L. Ashley was director of publicity. Pastor Alexander held the revival 
there in June of that year with 25 additions. 
Membership at Edenton is reportedly 125. 

Roll of Ministers at Edenton. 

1925 J. S. Williams 1935-1937, 1940 - H. Edgar Harden 

1926, 1927 R. O Respess 1938, 1946 W. 0. Henderson 

1928... - George R. Smith 1939 M. L. Ambrose 

1929 George A. Moore 1941-1944 G. 0. Gard 

1930 J. H. Williams 1945 Roe L. Harris 

1932-1934 Malcolm Penney 1949-1961 E. C. Alexander 


It is in Beaufort County, south of the Pamlico River, and eighteen miles 
southeast of Washington. It is near the former postoffice and railway sta- 
tion of Blount's Creek which in 1890 had a population of 20. The church 
stands a few miles north of State Highway 33, a short distance from Edward. 
It began with nine members in 1875, and on October 11, that year enrolled 
with the Disciples' Annual State Meeting. Their church school enrolled 25, 
including 3 teachers, S. W. Latham, superintendent, in 1890, when the church 
name was changed to James Chapel. It retained this name until reorganized 
as Elizabeth Chapel by Thomas Green, their pastor, in 1912. First church 
clerks were: John G. Latham, (1888); E. A. Taylor, (1900). O. K. Stilley 
and Marshall L. Stilley represented the church in the annual State Con- 
ventions. The membership grew to 51 in 1915, giving that year to brother- 
hood-related missions, $17.43. Their church school enrolled 50, and their 
church property valuation was $1000. 

Thomas Green reported in 1912 that since 1907, C. E. Lee had preached 
there on fifth Sundays, and that "with Lee's earnest work assisted by only 
five brothers and a few sisters they have succeeded in building a respectable 
house excepting the ceiling." Wherefore Green reorganized the church on 
April 14, 1912, and arranged for R. V. Hope, Washington pastor, to hold their 
revival in the following July. Next year when Green visited there on Sep- 
tember 14, he reported: '"The work at this place is encouraging. Both the 
Bible School and the Christian Woman's Board of Missions are gowing in 
members and interest. To-day the oldest citizen in the community, nearly 
76, made the confession and was baptized. He was a Confederate veteran 
serving 1861-1S65, who engaged in seven battles, struck by three bullets, but 
never seriously hurt." 

In July, 1931, Paul T. Ricks held their revival, assisted in special music 
by Esther and Hattie Mae Ricks. On September 20, that year their church 
school was reconstituted by J. B. Respess, Jr. and W. O. Ellis; their officers: 
W. S. Tyson, superintendent; J. E. Wooten, assistant superintendent; Helen 
Latham, secretary; Katie Jewell, treasurer. 

Membership at Elizabeth Chapel is reportedly 60. 

Roll of Ministers at Elizabeth Chapel. 
1884 A. J. Holton 1907-1912 .. C.E.Lee 

( 28 ) 

1913-1915 Thomas Green 1931 Edgar T. Harris 

1916 J. R. Tingle 1932 J. B. Respess 

1917-1919, 1927 J. W. Lollis 1936 D. W. Arnold 

1920, 1921 George A. Moore 193S, 1939 J. T. Moore 

1922-1924 R. L. Topping 1940,1941 R. H Walker 

1925 - __H. L. Freeman 1942, 1943 D. A. Hudson 

1926 R. O. Respess 1944-1946 R. F. Butler 

1928-1930, 1937 W. I. Bennett 1948, 1949 H. L. Tyer 


Largest municipality in the area considered in this monograph is Elizabeth 
City, (population, 14,062 in 1960). With the reputed patronage of George 
Washington, traders of the Hampton Roads locale pushed southward to open 
the Great Dismal Swamp canal in 1790. Foresters then gathered at the 
horseshoe bend of the Pasquotank River to labor at timber products, and 
incidentally with shipping interests to found a water-front emporium. 
This natural fresh-water port was uncommonly fine. First known as Nar- 
rows of the Pasquotank, then when incorporated in 1793, as Redding, the 
name was changed to Elizabethtown in 1794, probably named for the pros- 
perous tavern-keeping widow, Elizabeth Tooley, who conveyed her planta- 
tion to the pioneer village commissioners. Its courthouse came in 1801, 
when it was partly renamed, as presently designated, since Elizabethtown in 
Bladen County was accorded priority. 

On the Eighteenth Century regional post route, this Pasquotank Capital 
is listed as 341 miles from Philadelphia. Postmaster William Gregory re- 
ceived for annual compensation, in 1834, the amount of $405.47; Malachi 
Russell, in 1839, same position, $547.84. The town's volume of communica- 
tions was evidently growing. 

About a century after Elizabeth City's founding, Dennis Wrighter Davis, 
scouting Disciple evangelist, visited there, and observed: "There is no more 
important point among us for the building of a church than this one." A 
Disciple press agent in 1899 said that the town had enjoyed "wonderful 
growth", rising "from a muddy little town of 5,000 inhabitants to a beautiful 
city of 10,000 within the past five years." But J. W Swain, lay leader, "be- 
cause of serious and continued illness," moved to Norfolk, Va., in the spring 
of 1899. Furthermore, State misisons had not sufficient funds to maintain 
there over a long period the right leadership. 

Dennis Wrighter Davis, moved there in 1910, residing at 206 North Poin- 
dexter Street. He reported: "There are scores of Disciples in Elizabeth 
City just waiting and hoping that our people will organize here some day. 
We believe that a majority of them will rally to the work to the full extent 
of their ability. What we need in this great field work of the Albemarle 
Sound is more men and money." 

Henry C. Bowen, visiting there in 1914, said: "It was an agreeable surprise 
to meet Bro. E. L Sawyer and to learn that he was living there with relatives 
and teaching school. We met two of the Silverthorne brothers who have 
lately begun the furniture business. We have a few other loyal Disciples 
who are interested in establishing a church there." 

It remained for Louis A. Mayo, in August, 1919, to hold a revival for the 
Disciples in the courthouse, and begin the church which has since flourished 
under worthy ministers, who for an initial period of twelve years were given 

( 29 ) 

continuous adequate support through State Missions to the end of self- 
support and permanence. Mayo found a nucleus of 12 Disciples. Inviting 
him there were Mrs. Annie Swain and Mr. and Mrs. Joe F. Belangia. These 
gave him loyal support and the Belangias mortgaged their home to secure a 
church building on Parsonage Street from another Communion, which prop- 
erty was paid for in full, under Everett J. Harris, in 1928. It has since been 
greatly enlarged and improved. Mayo organized the church formally on 
January 4, 1920, with 42 members. He continued with them three years 
leading the church in a remarkable growth due to his initiative, his adapt- 
ability, and his sustained enthusiasm and evangelistic spirit. 

W. O. Winfield, C. E Lee, W. A. Davis and other pastors led their churches 
in contributing an aggregate of $238 to help meet initial obligation on the 
Elizabeth City plant. It was valued at $1250, (debt $800), when on November 
S, 1919, the church was enrolled by The North Carolina Christian Missionary 
Convention. H. T. Bowen located as their first "full-time" minister in No 
vember, 1924. The mission then had 187 members; the church school en 
rolled 300; and new class rooms had recently been provided at expense of 
$2400. This concrete growth was gratifying. It was declared: "Here is a 
fine illustration of the constructive service of cooperative missionary effort 
of the State Service and the United Christian Missionary Society in a typical 
North Carolina community." 

J. W Shockley, assisted by pastor E. J. Harris, ordained the following offi- 
cers there on October 19, 1927: elders: Fred White, J. F. Belangia, A. C. 
Fodrey, J. A. Price, (treasurer): deacons: Wilson D. Williams, (secretary). 
J. L. Alexander, J. E. Evans, Mervin Scott, Dennie White, Elias Pritchard; 
deaconesses: Mesdames: J. F. Belangia, T. V. Sexton. 

W. O. Henderson located there for a thirteen-year pastorate on November 
1, 1933. He assisted C. C Ware in ordaining some new officers there on 
January 7, 1934. Next year their Ladies' Aid Society had money in hand 
with which to buy a parsonage lot. G. Oliver Gard, a ministerial recruit, 
native of Dare County, was baptized by pastor Henderson on June 2, 1940. 
Installed by the pastor on December 28, 1941, was a new slate of six elders, 
twelve deacons, and seven deaconesses. 

In 1944 their baptistry costing $601.92 was provided. First to be baptized 
in it was a man aged 77. Their organ costing $3365, was that year installed 
by S. S. Arthur of Greenville. A new church bulletin board was given by- 
Mary Kirby and her two brothers, Joe, and Walter — a memorial to their 
mother. About the "One Day Fellowship Meeting" held there by the Disci- 
ples' state agencies on September 17, 1944, pastor Henderson said: "It was 
truly a great day for our church. Our doors are always open for meetings 
of this type." 

At the conclusion of W. O. Henderson's pastorate there it was said by their 
local correspondent: "He has done a wonderful work here. Now we need 
as his successor a constructive, hard-working pastor who can take many 
hard knocks with Christian resilience and be cooperative with our great 
brotherhood causes which in an outpouring of love started our work here 
and stood by it until we were self-supporting." 

Another room in their auxiliary building was completed in 1948. In De- 
cember, 1951, it was reported: : 

Due to our attendance increase, additional communion trays have: had 
to be ordered. Recent improvements include: painting outside, new roof. 
Venetian blinds, and new draperies for the Educational Building, and 

( 30 ) 

painting the sanctuary. The loyal Women's Class has added wine drap- 
ery for the baptistry, and matching accessories for the choir, the piano, 
pipe organ console, the pulpit, and the communion table. 

The Church gave in 1955: for the Educational Building, $8,750; for current 
expense, $12,161; for outreach in brotherhood-related causes, $2,489; the 
year's grand total, $23,400. Second floor of the Educational Building, con- 
tractor, Mac. Jennings, was completed January 1956, increasing the plant's 
overall value to $30,000. Their church school attendance reached 334. Sign- 
ing tithing covenant cards were 141 individuals. Their building committee, 
Nathan White, chairman, planned early in 1959 for a relocation of the par- 
sonage. April 9, that year marked the passing of Mrs. Joe F. Belangia, a 
charter member of 39 years before. "Her love for the Christian Church was 
the moving force in her life." 

The old three-story apartment building across the street was bought, that 
its removal might yield the space for a much-needed parking lot. In July 
1959, their current expense budget for the ensuing year totaling $16,961.41, 
was adopted. Also a $50,000 building fund objective was approved and 
launched for realization within the three succeeding years. Rolland H. 
Sheafor visited there in the spring of 1960 to observe and advise for the 
Church Extension Board of Indianapolis. The year, 1960, was a record high 
in their church finances both local and outreach. 

Their word in January, 1961: "Our building fund is increasing about a 
thousand dollars a month. We hope to have a very beautiful building in a 
few years." 

Membership at Elizabeth City is reportedly 466. 

Roll of Ministers at Elizabeth City. 

1920-1922 L. A. Mayo 1933-1946 W. O. Henderson 

1923 G. H. Sullivan 1947 H. T. Sutton 

1924 J. W. Humphreys 1948, 1949 A. B. Crocker 

1925, 1926 H. T. Bowen 1950-1956 H. G. James 

1927, 1928 E. J. Harris 1957-1960 A. Lynn Bobbins 

1929-1932 Malcolm Penney 1961 R. O. Respess 


Hyde County is wholly rural. It dates from 1712, and has a goodly share 
of North Carolina's richest land. Its largest town is Engelhard, (population, 
600); a tide-washed hamlet on Pamlico Sound. Located on No. 264, the only 
Federal Highway traversing the County, it is two miles north of Middleton, 
and twenty-six miles southwest of Stumpy Point, which used to be the shad 
capital of America. Middleton was chartered in 1787, but Engelhard was 
not incorporated until 1874, almost a century later. 

Disciples there were included in the roll of Middleton, the mother church, 
prior to 1911. The roads were poor, conditioned by a peat-bound terrain; 
motor traffic was just then beginning; the hard roads conquering mud and 
dust were delayed. Wherefore it was expedient to have a church of their 
faith in the rising town. Reporting 40 members, the new church was en- 
rolled by The North Carolina Christian Missionary Convention on November 
2, 1911. 

Their first plant valued at $9,000 was destroyed, after many years of service, 
by a hurricane. Their first parsonage for the pastoral unity was built at 

( 31 ) 

Engelhard in 1916, and sold during the depression. A new site was acquired 
a short distance south of town, where a seven-room parsonage with an ex- 
pansion attic was erected alongside their new church plant; construction of 
both was in 1954. Their first clerk was E. L. Silverthorne, (1911). A later 
clerk was J. D Selby, (1915), at which time their church school enrolled 90, 
and the church made annual gift of $50 to brotherhood-related missions. In 
1930 their church property valuation was $4500. 

Evangelist H. C. Bowen on a visit there in June 1910, reported: "A house 
is being erected for the church at Engelhard to the north of Middleton." A 
letter from D. W. Hodges, secretary of Hyde Union, dated July 7, 1913, stated 
that the Union had paid $72.36 to cover remainder due on the Engelhard 
church lot, on which their new frame plant stood, measuring 40 x 70 feet. 
The Hyde Union met there, June 28, 29, 1913. About this occasion, Hodges 
proudly said: "The house was full and running over with 800 or more in 

In 1926 the church had a flourishing C. E. Society, and their "weekly com- 
munity prayer meeting" was largely attended, the town's places of business 
in courtesy being closed during each service. W. O. Henderson held their 
revival in July, 1930, with 8 added. He was assisted by John Strickland, 
sophomore in Atlantic Christian College, as song leader and soloist. Their 
C. W. P. was organized in May, 1937, with 16 members, led by Mrs. A. B. 

First to occupy the new parsonage were the A. W. Huffmans. He preached 
there first on January 2, 1955. Speaking there on the following February 6. 
were Mrs. H. H. Settle, and Margaret Lawrence, former missionary to 
China. In March, 1955, their C.M.F. was organized. An active C.Y.F. 
"bought curtains for the stage and baptistry." , 

Frank W. Wibiral visited May 1, 1955, to lead in ordaining their new church 
officers, and to install the year's C.M.F. leaders. The John W. Stewarts held 
their revival, June 13-20, with 17 added. Their local reporter said: "We all 
here at Engelhard learned to love the Stewarts and to appreciate their fine 
leadership." In the spring of 1958, the plant was newly painted, a piano, 
"specially adapted to the sanctuary," installed, and plumbing accessories 

Locating there in the pastoral unity July 1, 1957, F. W. Wibiral has since 
given them full-time resident service. The score: "Both churches have 
undertaken extensive building improvements and modernization programs; 
support of brotherhood programs has increased, and local activities have been 
intensified." In 1959 the Engelhard building was extended to dimension of 
50 x 35 feet, two church school rooms added, baptistry completed, also "a 
cafeteria-type kitchen area with serving counters," provided. Ground break- 
ing for this construction was on Easter morning, 1959, at which time the 
offering exceeded $500, a tremendous sum for this small group. Facilitating 
general public relations, the pastoral unity sponsored six weeks' advertising 
in the Hyde County newspaper, "describing the nature and work of the Dis- 
ciples of Christ." 

In I960, a debt-retirement goal was adopted, a baptistry wall completed 
upon which the versatile pastor painted a scene, and their new Fellowship 
Hall was being "put to many uses, the latest being the place of a wedding 

Membership at Engelhard is reportedly S2. 

( 32 ) 

Roll of Ministers at Engelhard. 

1914 A. C. Neal 1935 _. H. L. Tyer 

1915, 1916 G. H. Sullivan 1936 D. G. Saunders 

1919, 1920 J. P. Ellis 1937-1940 A. B. Crocker 

1922-1924; 1932-1934 J. C. Groce 1941 Z. N. Deshields 

1925 J. L. Green 1942-1945 J. Thomas Brown 

1926, 1927 J. H. Hanson 1946-1952 F. A. Lilley 

192S V. L. Parker 1955-1957 A. W. Huffman, Sr. 

1929 ... R. Paul Parker 1958-1961 F. W. Wibiral 

1930 G. Winter 


This church in southern Hyde County was founded by the pioneer evan- 
gelists, H. S. Davenport, and S. T. Smith. It was named for the mother of 
Timothy, a woman warmly commended by the Apostle Paul as one in whom 
"unfeigned faith made its dwelling." With 22 members it was enrolled by 
The North Carolina Christian Missionary Convention on November 2, 1911. 

It had a building valued at $350, (1911) ; increased to $500, (1915) ; seating 
capacity, 200. Their earliest church clerks: W. B. Elixon, (1911); T. B. 
Nobles, (1915), who also superintended their church school, enrolling 37. 
The superintendent in 1917 was James Brynn. 

S. T. Smith held their revival, September 13-27, 1913, assisted in the song 
service by Victor Hugo Grantham, who received hearty praise from the 
evangelist for his help. Three heads of families were baptized as a result 
of the protracted effort. Evangelist Smith declared that this locality suffered 
from a predestinarian predominance, wherefore: "All who know Eunice 
Chapel know it to be the hardest place to be led to Christ in Hyde County." 
But, he insisted: "I sincerely believe we will win out there yet and soon 
have a self-supporting congregation". The organ for the revival was loaned 
by the Scranton Church. The organists were: Miss Price Manning, from Mt. 
Olive, (Hyde); and Miss Helene Jarvis from Swan Quarter. 

Membership at Eunice Chapel is reportedly 50. 

Roll of Ministers at Eunice Chapel. 

1911 -- .S. Tyler Smith 1926, 1927, 1944 W. P. Armstrong 

1914 T. Yarborough 1931-1936 __C. E. Lee 

1916, 1919, 1920 H. S. Davenport 1938-1940 John R. Smith 

1917, 1918 W. H. Marler 1942 F. A. Lilley 

1921-1923 J. A. Mizell 1946 Roe L. Harris 


It is in Martin County on Federal Highway 64, about midway from Rob- 
ersonville to Williamston. The opening of the Williamston to Tarboro rail- 
way in the 1880's occasioned here a convenient way station and a rising 
trade center. It may be assumed that it was named for some one of eight 
"heads of families" by that name in the county in 1790, namely: James, John, 
John Jr., Joshua, Nathaniel, Nathaniel II, William, William, Sr. Its post- 
office was one of seven in the county in 1886; and an Everetts postoffice was 
at that time in 8 other states. The village had in 1890 150 residents; it 
was incorporated in 1891. Proprietors of the five general stores there in 

( 33 ) 

1896, were: W. S Barnhill, Barnliill and James, W. B. Clark, W. H. Clark, 
L. B. Wynn. The early industrial fixture there was the Martin Lumber 
Company, who sawed and dressed lumber along with others of the period in 
this well-forested area. 

Early in 1921, "Cyclone Mac" shook the Robersonville community with 
his fervent evangelism. Following this, J. M. Perry, pastor of Robersonville 
Disciples, held a revival at Everetts in an improvised worship room. There 
were 44 baptisms and 38 others received by statement. This was the start 
of the Everetts Christian Church. Perry was the founding father, teaching 
them and inspiring their considered loyalty to their brotherhood's cooperative 
outreach. A student preacher, Louis A. Mayo, from Atlantic Christian Col- 
lege was engaged for monthly preaching. He continued with them for two 

The church was enrolled by The North Carolina Christian Missionary Con- 
vention on November 9, 1921. During the first year their church offering to 
The United Christian Missionary Society was $7. Their church school en- 
rollment reached 100; superintendent, Ben F. Perry; a later superintendent, 
(1927), was Charles B. Roebuck. Their first clerks: George H. Holliday, 
(1921); J. Henry Wynn, (1937). Their church property was valued at 
$2,000 in 1923. 

The congregation was housed at first in a hall over a garage. They steadily 
grew in numbers and interest. On Thanksgiving Day, 1922, Charles B. Roe- 
buck and other strong young men of the town went into the woods and 
secured the first timbers for the church structure, which was to be complete 
before the next Thanksgiving Day. Ben F. Perry, local merchant, was an 
enthusiastic and consistent worker in this effort from the start. He freely 
gave supervision of the construction, so effective that he saved the congre- 
gation an estimated $3500. The brick-veneered plant, seating 300, providing 
five adjunctive church school rooms, would ordinarily have cost $10,000. It 
actually in cash outlay, cost only about $6500. The dedication was in the 
fall of 1923. 

Pastor Mayo, leading their revival in 1922, added 35. In August, 1928, G. 
H. Sullivan, then pastor, evangelized there, adding 10. In this meeting R. 
A. Phillips led the singing "very acceptably", being ably assisted at the piano 
by Miss Lela Bown Barnhill, of the local church. 

On January 17, 1932, C. C Ware, assisted by pastor R. A Phillips ordained 
the following: elders: Joe Harrison, W. S. Gurganus, Charles B. Roebuck, 
George H. Holliday; deacons: Julius T. Barnhill, J. Henry Wynn, Mack L. 
James, L. C. James; deaconesses: Mesdames: L. A. Clark, Minnie Wynn, J. 
S. Peel, and Julius T. Barnhill. The local correspondent's note: "It was an 
impressive service. The pastor announced a new financial plan. The church 
is better organized, and a good year's work is anticipated." 

J. M. Perry returned there for "a wonderful ten-day's meeting," in June, 
1938. His report: "We baptized 13 fine young people." In November, 1951, 
pastor Olin E. Fox reported: "At Everetts where we have some of the salt 
of the earth, many improvements on the building and grounds are being 
planned. A new pulpit set, consisting of communion table, pulpit stand, five 
chairs, , and two flower stands has been purchased." Three years later 
plumbing accessories were installed. 

During the last week in October 1952, M. Elmore Turner, Washington pas- 
tor, held the Everetts revival, with 11 added. These 11 "were baptized by 
Wilbur T. Wallace, new Robersonville pastor," about which pastor Fox com- 

( 34 ) 

mented: "For this kindly baptismal service we were grateful since I was 
not sufficiently recovered from illness to officiate." Two years later, Bill 
Nichols, of Swannanoa, was their evangelist, giving "further uplift to the 

Ross J. Allen was their revival '"guest speaker," June 20-26, 1955, on which 
occasion "the church was inspired to do greater things for the Lord." De- 
parting from past practice the church advanced to "half-time" ministry for a 
projected pastoral unity with Jamesville. Their C.W.F. sold plaques of their 
local church plant, and in 1957 bought a hot-water heater for their baptistry 
remodeling. Some active youths in their C.Y.F. were Celia Clark, Anna 
Peel, Beckton James. 

A hearty host has Everetts been to many convenings of "One Day Fellow- 
ship Meetings," and of The Albemarle Christian Missionary Union, and of 
similar brotherhood gatherings. And, locally these awakened Disciples have 
indeed given "a powerful spiritual service to this typical small town com- 

Membership at Everetts is reportedly 194. 

Roll of Ministers at Everetts. 

1921; 1938-1946 J.M.Perry 1935 Malcolm Penney 

1922, 1923 L. A. Mayo 1936, 1937 W. I. Bennett 

1924, 1925 , J. W Lollis 1948 J. L. Corbitt 

1926-1931 G. H. Sullivan 1949-1952 O. E. Fox 

1932 R. A. Phillips 1953-1956 .. . H. C. Hilliard, Sr. 

1933 Kermit Traylor 1958, 1959 A. W. Huffman, Sr. 

1934... B. E. Taylor 1960, 1961 C. T. Myhand 


Perhaps constant emigration accounts for Hyde County's population stall 
over a long period. An instance is Fairfield, which by census records had 500 
residents in 1880, while in 1950, seventy years later the number was phe- 
nomenally identical. Its postoffice was established in 1835, James Taylor, 
postmaster; "annual compensation, $1.38." This was indeed diminutive pay 
for a mere trickle of communications. The office was discontinued for a 
while. However in 1851, it was one of six such offices in Hyde. A Fairfield 
is in each of 22 States in 1960, from Alabama to Washington. This village 
on the northern shore of Mattamuskeet, North Carolina's largest lake, is at 
the end of the scenic causeway centrally spanning the big body of water. 
There in 1867, were just two merchants: Edward L. Blackewll and Bryan 
Rowe; one lawyer, D. M. Carter, and one physician, Dr. Haughton. Seven- 
teen years later Dr. J. A. Mann was there, and the millers, W. D. Murray, 
W. R. Burgess, and N. B. Neal. 

Samuel L. Davis, of Sladesville, in 1867, was the first resident Disciple 
minister in Hyde, called then in secular print, "Christian Baptist". In the 
1880s his colleagues in the pulpit, H. D. Cason, H. S. Davenport, Augustus 
Latham, Jr., and J. S. Henderson lived in the County. Fairfield Christian 
Church with 25 members was started and enrolled on October 23, 18S7, by the 
North Carolina Christian Missionary Convention. Until 1893 it was known 
as Enterprise. It steadily grew and registered 79 in 1894. Their first clerks: 
I. W. Mooney, (18SS); B. Rose. (1892); D. C. Cutrell. (1906); Ida V. Cutrell, 

( 35 ) 

Evangelist H. S. Davenport, pioneered there for the faith. He said in J. 
J. Harper's Christian Visitor, October 1, 1887, as briefed: 

I went to Fairfield with only $2.50, provided by three Scranton breth- 
ren. I was an entire stranger, except for an old army comrade there. I 
arranged to preach in the Town Hall, a building with poor accommoda- 
tions and was charged for it, $1 per night. While there I organized a 
little congregation and engaged for their use the Town Hail at $1 per 
month. The managers soon raised this to $1.50 per month. Then D. H. 
Carter offered us a piece of land and other assistance which was prompt- 
ly accepted. It is poor policy for us to grumble when outsiders do for 
us what we can not or will not do for ourselves. I came to this county 
and found five regular places for our worship — now there are twelve. If 
the brethren would be a little more liberal and put two active workers 
in the field here, we would soon be in the ascendancy. 

Fairfield's building was delayed. But the Hyde Union met there in the 
Town Hall on May 31, 1891. A sermon preached then was typical by the 
veteran, Davenport. His subject: "This World Is Not Our Rest." He re- 
ported this Union: 

The Episcopal church loaned us their organ. The Methodist choir did 
the singing. Trustees for our contemplated church building at Fairfield 
were appointed as follows: Captain Gray M. Silverthorne, Dr. P. H. 
Simmons, D. H. Carter, H. S. Davenport, and H. W. N. Smith; and M. 
F. Haskett to solicit funds. J. L. Winfield was employed to hold a pro- 
tracted effort in their Town Hall to begin August 8, 1891. 

Merritt Owen, later a pastor at Washington, N. C, gave fourteen months of 
resident ministry in Hyde in 1899, 1900. He wrote an effusive news letter 
published in The Watch Tower, from which we take this brief: 

May 20, 1900, was an ideal day. Birds sang in the budding trees; 
butterflies danced on the clover. I mounted my wheel and rode nine 
miles around North Lake to Bro. Samuel Selby's where Bro. Leroy Smith 
met me and took me ten miles on to Fairfield. Only those who have 
driven around Mattamuskeet can fully appreciate its picturesqueness. 
Trees throw a friendly shade. Farmhouses form pictures of peace, con- 
tentment, and plenty. The bright-faced daisy looks up; little purple- 
cheeked violets peep out from mantles of green. It is an enchanting 
environment. I found the Fairfield house full of ready hearers. From 
the rich stores of the King's treasury I supplied them as best I could 
from Matthew 5:8. I preached again at night. I have not enjoyed a 
day's work more in a long time. 

Owen was their evangelist June 10-17, 1900. Ten were added and the 
church was reorganized. He commented: "Some say that it is now in as 
good shape as it ever was. I found it indeed a scattered flock." Leaving for 
his "Indiana home" in August, 1900, he reminisced: "I believe that the seed 
sown in Hyde will bear a rich harvest in the sweet by-and-by. The people 
there will have a choice place in my affections as long as I linger on this 

Their faithful, mission-loving pastor Davenport, reported in 1909: "We 
failed to take our Foreign Missions offering at Fairfield on March 21, on ac- 
count of inclement weather, but on April 4, we did take it, and raised $7 for 
the Damoh boys. Our Methodist friends were out and helped us." 

S. T. Smith, resident, and long time pastor there, announced in November, 
1925: "We raised our apportionment for State Missions at Fairfield, and at 
Nazareth, (Kilkenny) we raised two dollars over her apportionment." In 
1930, J. W. Shockley, assisted by the Atlantic Christian College Quartette 


conducted their revival. Roe L. Harris, local ministerial recruit, wrote: 
"Everybody enjoyed it. I think the church has been moved to do a greater 
work. We had six additions." Harris preached his first sermon there in 
July, 1925. 

George M. Cutrell, local layman, reported their revival led by W. J. Swin- 
dell, of Varnville, S. C, August 5-19, 1945. "We had a splendid meeting, result- 
ing in 14 baptisms." Cutrell added: "We look forward gladly to our One 
Day Fellowship Meeting to be held here on September 16, at which we hope 
to see a fine representation of our church workers from the entire County." 

Membership at Fairfield is reportedly 50. 
Roll of Ministers at Fairfield. 

1907-1911; 1913 H. S. Davenport 1928-1932; 1935-1940; 

1887 Merritt Owen 1945-1948 Roe L. Harris 

1914-1922; 1924-1927... S. Tyler Smith 1933, 1934 C. E. Lee 

1923 J. W. Lollis 1941 Z. N. Deshields 

1942-1944 .....J. Thomas Brown 


It is in the open country south of Jamesville. During its first 22 years 
it was known as Manning's Schoolhouse. Then for 10 years it was 
nominally joined with Jamesville Christian Church, but was reestablished as 
Fairview in 1905. It was enrolled with the State's Disciples Annual Meeting 
on October 10, 1874, with 55 members, of whom 27 had been newly baptized. 
For "district evangelizing" that year they had paid, $10; for regular preach- 
ing, $11. Their delegates in their State's Annual Meeting, 1874 to 1889, were: 
J. P. Moore, A. Lilley, Theodore Long, Eli Gardner, J. W. Griffin, R. W. 
Perry. Their first clerks: Wilson Manning, (1888); Simon E. Hardison, 
(1905). Their church property valuation in 1930 was $1,000. 

The statistical table for their State Convention minutes for 1896 records 
that its 45 members had "gone in with Jamesville." Not until 1905 did it 
reappear as Fairview reporting 50 members, paying $45 for that year for 
preaching, and contributing $11 to brotherhood-related State, Home, and 
Foreign missions. This support to missions they continued faithfully through 
many years. 

On one occasion their pastor "visited 70 of the flock, nothwithstanding he 
was many times stuck in the muddy roads." Consequently this minister on 
January 5, 1936, "had a large, interested crowd at the Church." 

Membership at Fairview is reportedly 135. 
Roll of Ministers at Fairview. 

1881, 1889.. H. S. Gurganus 1922, 1923 L. T. Holliday 

1882... J. R. Winfield 1924, 1925 R. A. Phillips 

1883 Henry Winfield 1926-1934 Edgar T. Harris 

1884 Stanley Ayers 1935, 1936 G. D Davi3, Sr. 

1888... J. W. Gurganus 1937 D. W. Arnold 

1911 J. A. Mizell 1939-1948 F. A Lilley 

1912-1914 John R. Smith 1949, 1950 P. E. Cayton 

1915-1921 C. E. Lee 

( 37 ) 


Gold Point, (population 98, in 1960), is a few miles north of Robersonville, 
on State Highway 903. First known as Longtown, it received its present 
name about 1896. Its inhabitants then numbered 80, and with Thomas Law- 
rence Johnson as a Commissioner, it was incorporated in 1898. It had three 
general stores in 1896, namely: Coburn and Roberson, B. L. Johnson, and 
J. E Roberson and Son. 

Four miles west of Gold Point is Hassell, at which location stood Leb- 
anon Christian Church, mother of Disciples both at Gold Point, (1893), and 
at Hassell, (1907). "Saulsberry" schoolhouse at the last named place was 
used by a pioneering group of five Disciples in the middle 1870's. Evangelist 
R. W. Stancill came there to preach "six times and baptized four," as he 
reported on August 8, 1877. J. L Burns followed and announced on January 
1, 1878: "I went to Salisbury's in December, 1877, preached four days and 
organized a church of 14 members, Bro. J. A. B. Cooper as elder, and Bro. 
Turner Glisson, deacon. I am persuaded that the band under their lead will 
give a good account of themselves soon." 

The church had grown to 20 members, when, under its new name, Lebanon, 
it was enrolled on October 12, 1878, by The North Carolina Christian Mis- 
sionary Society. Their delegates at their annual State Conventions, were: 
J. A. B. Cooper, H. Brown, Lewis Etheridge, S. T. Glisson, Calvin Johnson, 
T. Roberson, G. F. Roberson, R. Thompson, Sully Cooper. First clerks: J. A. 
B. Cooper, (1878); Annie Andrews, (1889); Sully Cooper, (1899); N. F. 
Brown, (1900); H. Brown, (1903); T. L. Johnson, (1906); B. L. Roebuck, 
(1907). Their first church school of record was in 1893, enrolling 20, of 
whom 3 were teachers; H. Brown, superintendent. Their church property 
valuation in 1901, was $500; in 1930, $1500. Its old name Lebanon was re- 
tained in the annual statistics until 1911, when it was changed to Gold Point. 

For the actual beginning at Gold Point, Thomas Green organized a mission 
there in 1893. It used the local schoolhouse. Only survivors of this initial 
worship group, in 1944, 51 years later, were: Thomas Lawrence Johnson, 
(1878-1945); and Mrs. Bessie Williams. H. Brown, Lebanon layman, living 
at Conoho reported on December 14, 1900: "We have bought and paid for 
a lot at Gold Point, and will commence to build a new house there. It will 
be 28 x 40 feet, and when completed will be an honor to the brethren and 
an ornament to Gold Point." Three months later Brown announced: "Work 
on the new church building is progressing finely and will be completed by 
May 19, 1901. The congregation is steadily increasing. The schoolhouse is 
not large enough to accommodate the audiences." 

Brown attended the heralded opening on May 19, and said he "found the 
house completed with exception of hanging the window blinds and painting, 
which will soon be done. The overflow crowd heard Bro. C. E. Lee preach 
the first sermon in the new church. We are proud of it; it is finished and 
no heavy debt; let us rejoice." A note from pastor C. E. Lee published June 
28, 1901, related: 

The congregation at Lebanon sold their old house of worship a few 
months ago and have by their own efforts and the assistance of others 
built a neat and beautiful church at Gold Point. The contract to build 
was let to Bro. State Williams. It cost more to build than was antici- 
pated, but the church and community will see that the contractor is 
properly remunerated. As a whole I have never met with any better 
people than are to be found in the little town of Gold Point. 

( 38 ) 

In the summer of 1953 during the resurgence of youth activities there, 
two classes in the Gold Point church school launched a fund-raising cam- 
paign for increased class room facilities. Two years later construction was 
"well underway." Henry Johnson "donated enough hardwood flooring to 
cover all of the up-stairs rooms." It was reported: "The membership has 
increased greatly." The projected educational unit was "completed on the 
outside", by April, 1955. Harold F. Brown resided there and gave them 
"half-time" ministry. The church school enrolled 123, with an average 
attendance of 99. A new heating system was installed. Nina Johnson "com- 
pleted and furnished their young peoples' class room"; also she and the 
other daughters of Thomas Lawrence and Louise Taylor Johnson gave the 
completion and furnishing of their new dining hall. And "a memorial cast 
bronze plaque was placed in the dining hall, September 2, 1955." 

The educational unit was completed in May 1957. L. A. Croom in 1959 
led the project for a complete renovation of the sanctuary. 

Membership at Gold Point is reportedly, 154. 

Roll Of Ministers at Gold Point. 

1881-'. Gideon Allen 1919-1921 .__ J. M. Perry 

1882 J. R. Winfield 1922-.... J. H. Williams 

1883 Henry Winfield 1923 H. T. Bowen 

1884 J. L. Burns 1924, 1925 R. A. Phillips 

1888, 1889 _M. T. Moye 1926-1951 A. E. Purvis 

1893, 1896-1900, 1952, 1953 Glenn Brigman 

1907-1910 Thomas Green 1954 ..... Darrell Huffman 

1894, 1895 S. W. Sumrell 1955-1958 ■-- H. F. Brown 

1901-1906... C. B. Lee 1959, 1960 Gus Constantine 

1911-1914 S. W. Sumrell 1961 W. E. Tucker 

1915-1918 J. R. Lee 


Hardens, (population, 175), is on Federal Highway 64, about midway from 
Jamesville to Plymouth. It was one of the ten postoffices in Martin County 
in 1892. The two stores there in 1896, were: W. T Broughton and Company, 
and Waters and Darden. A short distance south of Dardens is a community 
now called Free Union, site of old Welch's Creek church, mother of the 
County's Disciples, and which entertained the Disciples' State Annual Meet- 
ing (Bethel Conference) in 1842. From this church missions of the Dis- 
ciples were transplanted. 

Thirty-four members constituting the Gospel Light church at Dardens 
were received by The North Carolina Christian Missionary Convention on 
October 31, 1907. They had paid for the year's preaching there, $96. Next 
year they grew to 42, and they gave $10 for State Missions, and for Atlantic 
Christian College, $5. Their first clerk was L. N. Gurkin, (1907); their first 
church school superintendent, James F. Jackson, (1915). Their church prop- 
erty valuation in 1915, was $500; in 1930, $1,000. 

James F. Jackson, Dardens layman, reported April 25, 1902: "We have 
established a mission here in a public schoolhouse. Our little band numbers 
probably 20, (a loving little band when we get together for worship). We 
have preaching twice a month. We need a house of our own and hope to 
build one this fall. We are poor in this world's goods but we believe the 

( 39 ) 

brotherhood will aid us." Another Dardens correspondent, W. A. Ayers, 
said that their building committee was to meet on the following July 6, "to 
attend to business". He commented: "It has been said that Bro. James F. 
Jackson was going to let the Disciples build a house of worship on his land. 
He is ready at any time to deed a lot to The North Carolina Christian Mis- 
sionary Convention. We work and pray that a house may speedily be built 
at Dardens." 

Correspondent Ayers announced that a total of $15.23 had been contributed, 
and remarked: 

We are in need of nails and shingles. We need some sills and then 
we could raise our house. Our fund-raising committee: J. A. Spruill, 
Mr. and Mrs. R J. Peel, Misses: Vonnie Leggett, Cornelia Gardner, Carrie 
A. Moore, Annie Bateman, and Alice Modlin. 

To their general appeal came encouraging response. W. C. Gardner 
visited Poplar Chapel, March S, 1903, and garnered for the cause, $18.32. 
He wrote: "We thank the brethren. We will begin to raise the house at 
Gospel Light on March 23, 1903." Jackson reported a year later: "We now 
have a neat and comfortable house 43 X 23 feet, seated and heated, with good 
lights, and finished except painting. It is all paid for; we thank all of those 
who helped." 

J. Boyd Jones, Wilson pastor, came to dedicate the new building on August 
7, 1904. He related: 

J. B. Respess, Sr. is the Gospel Light minister, and preaches with his 
old-time zeal. He drives [horse and buggy] the 28 miles to his home 
after night services to look after his farm next day. Uncle H. S. Daven- 
port organized the church here. He has probably organized more churches 
than any other preacher in North Carolina. He is full of missionary zeal 
and a tireless toiler. 

Olive Jackson of this church wrote of her pastor in October 1905: "If we 
had several such men as Bro. Asa J. Manning in our State we would do a 
better work. We all here at Dardens love him." 

Nixon A. Taylor, Plymouth pastor, held their revival in 1933, with 9 addi- 
tions. In 1939, James D. Taylor, Williamston layman, helped considerably 
the Dardens pastor, G. C. Bland. Taylor testified: 

Dardens work is moving well, and the State Service was very helpful 
last year in directing us to reopen this field. We have repaired the 
church with new window panes, installed a new piano and are raising 
money systematically to purchase a new communion set and other neces- 
sities for a well-ordered church. We observe here the Lord's Supper each 
Lord's Day. 

C. C. Ware, assisted by J. M. Perry of Rebersonville, and the local pastor, 
G. C. Bland, ordained at Gospel Light, on April 5, 1939, the following: elders: 
Paul Allen, Alexander Daniels, H. L. Davis; deacons: Henry Hardison, Jack- 
son Holliday, Herman Riddick. For this service the young people's choir 
directed by pastor Bland, and the Beargrass male trio rendered special 
music. James D. Taylor who had been of great service in reviving the 
church was present and said: "All said that it was a very impressive 

Membership at Gospel Light is reportedly 100. 

( 40 ) 

Roll of Ministers at Gospel Light. 

1902 J. A. Spruill 1926 L. T. Holliday 

1904 J. B. Respess, Sr. 1927, 1928 C. A. Jarman 

1905, 1906 A. J. Manning 1931-1936 G. D. Davis, Sr. 

1911-1914; 1919 H. H. Ambrose 1937 D. W. Arnold 

1915-1918 J. R. Lee 1938 M. L. Ambrose 

1920 W. H. Marler 1939 G. C. Bland 

1921, 1922 J. S. Williams 1940 P. E. Cayton 

1923, 1924 W. O. Winfleld 


It is a village of 50 persons in southeastern Tyrrell County. It is on a 
small promontory jig-sawed by the elbow-like Alligator River at the shore- 
wise wrist of which the community nestles. Now reached by blissful, hard- 
surfaced roads, it is two miles from State Highway 94, 15 miles from Colum- 
bia; 17 from Fairfield. It had one of the three postoffices in Tyrrell in 1862, 
the other two being Columbia and Fort Landing. It was flourishing in 1896 
with five general stores, namely those of R. J. Armstrong, W. A. Cahoon, 
C. R. Johnson, W. B. Langley, and White and Liverman. Long a boarding 
house there had been run by N. E. Owens. Its name may have derived from 
its favored area of gum forests before the day of the industrial pulp-gatherers. 

Gum Neck with 45 members was enrolled by The North Carolina Christian 
Missionary Convention on Nov. 2, 1911. Their fifirst clerks: B. F. Spencer, 
(1891); Claude Armstrong, (1911); J. J. Armstrong, (1915). Their church 
school in 1915 enrolled 40, G. L. Liverman, superintendent. Their church 
property valuation in 1930 was $1200. 

Disciples had evangelized at Gum Neck decades before requesting recogni- 
tion as a church by their State Convention. Evangelist H. S. Davenport 

"I arrived at Gum Neck, June 22, 1891, but the people were too busy 
with farming. I promised to return September 19, and protract for them. 
Bro. B. F. Spencer, clerk of the church, said there were about 65 members 
at this place. I found the church somewhat cold, and no wonder since 
they have had no regular preaching for some time. The brethren are 
running a small Sunday School at the church while an opposition school 
is being run at the Alliance Hall about a mile away. Sunday Schools 
mean additions to the church. We should not sit quietly down and see 
our children drawn away without a well-directed effort to remedy the 
evil. The Disciples have a decided majority in this locality and if they 
fail it may be charged to their own want of zeal." 

On October 8, 1908, evangelist H. C. Bowen wrote: "During the past three 
years of the ministry of I. W. Rogers with the Columbia group he has been 
instrumental in building in Gum Neck a house of worship up to the using 
point." These were the years he was being assisted financially by the State 

Louis A. Mayo, minister from Atlantic Christian College held their revival, 
August 8-14, 1921, with 10 additions. J. J. Armstrong, local correspondent, 
said of this effort: "People came long distances to hear the gospel preached. 
We all love to see Bro. Mayo come into our homes. We have learned to love 
him. He has held three meetings for us with success each summer." 

In the summer of 1926, H. T. Bowen, another young man from the College 
at Wilson, held their revival. Again J. J. Armstrong said: "Bro. Bowen did 

( 41 ) 

some real preaching; preached Christ so plain and sweet, the small children 
could almost understand." Two years later the same correspondent an- 
nounced: "We have H. T. Bowen as our pastor. The church is in good work- 
ing shape now, but when he began it was not. He is one of the finest preach- 
ers we have ever had. He uses the spirit of love. Our Bible School has 
average attendance of about 40." 

Membership at Gum Neck is reportedly 75. 

Roll of Ministers at Gum Neck. 

1881 C. H. Swain 1923 Theo. Wescott 

1882, 1883 J. W. Gurganus 1924, 1925 J. S. Williams 

1884 W. O. Winfield 192G, 1927 J. F. Pipkin 

1888, 1889 M. F. Haskett 1928 H. T. Bowen 

1891 E. L. Sowers 1929, 1930 J. T. Forrest 

1911 ... S. Tyler Smith 1932-1935 Malcolm Penney 

1913, 1914 T. Yarborough 1936 M. L. Ambrose 

1921, 1922... . W. P. Armstrong 1937-1945 P. E. Cayton 


Six miles northwest of Robersonville, is Hassell, (population 147, in 1960). 
It is an important freight station on the Kinston-Weldon branch of the 
A.C.L. Railway. As a trade center five miles west of the Roanoke River, it 
came to life with the railroad, and was one of the ten postoffices in Martin 
County in 1892. Three stores operative there in 1896, were: G. L. Cooper 
and Son, H. A. Nicholson, and Mrs. A. E. Salisbury. 

An early preaching place for Disciples in the County was Salisbury's 
schoolhouse quite near the present Hassell. Another name for it was Syca- 
more Gum. Some early preachers expounding there, were: Stanley Ayers, 
J. L. Burns, Dr. H. D. Harper, G. W. Neeley, and Virgil A. Wilson. : A lay- 
man, H. Brown, born in 1838, referring to his conversion there witnessed: 

I attended at Salisbury's and paid strict attention to the sermon of 
Bro. Stanley Ayers. It was so different from anything I had ever heard,, 
that it put me to thinking and reading my Bible which I had not before 
understood, not knowing anything of its proper divisions. 

Disciples at Salisbury's took the church name of Lebanon in 1879, and 
their development I have before sketched under Gold Point. Thus we have 
this brief chronology for Hassell: it worshipped at Lebanon, 1878 to 1893; 
at Gold Point from 1893 to 1907, inasmuch as Lebanon went with the Gold 
Point mission, even retaining the conventional name of Lebanon; and then 
from 1907 to the present at Hassell, proper, since in 1907, their stated worship 
was reestablished at the traditional site. It was November 5, 1914, when 
Hassell with 64 members was enrolled by The North Carolina Christian 
Missionary Convention. They had given $2.55 for Home and Foreign mis- 
sions that year. Their first clerk was George Ayers, who also superintended 
their church school, enrolling 20. Their church property valuation in 1915 
was $800; in 1930, $1500. 

Sam W. Sumrell held the Hassell revival, beginning August 30, 1909. He 

I preached at night only for a week. We had five additions. We secured 
a lot from the Railroad Company to build a church on, and they have it 

( 42* ) 

so that we can use it before long. We want to organize the congregation 
by time of the State Convention. 

The organization was not effected as soon sa expected. But when Sumrell 
returned in August, 1911, to evangelize there, he announced: "In our meet- 
ing at Hassell, there were 14 added to the new congregation. We organized 
a church with 33 members. I did the preaching except one night." 

In 1922, R. A. Phillips, pastor, the Hassell church school conducted a con- 
test which trebled their attendance to a high of 154. In May, 1932, it was 
announced: "Hassell has a new brick plant partially completed. They have 
applied to our Church Erection Department for a loan of $400. The frame 
is up and $1600 has been raised and expended. The $400 is needed with 
which to lay the brick and put in the windows. They will then have a serv- 
iceable, creditable plant." J. M. Perry held their revival that year, adding 17. 

The new plant, debt-free, was dedicated November 24, 1935, G. H. Sullivan, 
a former pastor preaching the sermon. Mrs. H. H. Settle, C.W.F. state secre- 
tary, was a guest of honor. In a formal ceremony she presented the church 
key to John W. Eubank, chairman of the building committee who responded 
briefly: "How happy we have been in this construction, accomplished not by 
any large gifts but by each one giving as he or she could." 

John L. Goff and H. Glenn Haney held revivals there in 1944, and 1946 
respectively, with 13, and 11 additions. It was an unusual baptizing on June 
10, 1946, when a son, and his father, and his grandfather, were each baptized 
in the one service. The witnesses of it said they had never before seen the 
like. On November 12, 1946, their C.Y.F. was organized with 22 charter 
members. Their officers: president, Ruth Haislip; vice president, David 
Etheridge, Jr.; secretary, Eleanor Eubanks; treasurer, Catherine Haislip; 
advisers, Mrs. David Etheridge, Sr., and Ernest Edmondson. Next year the 
C.Y.F. gave the church a new communion set; Thad Cox held their revival 
with 27 additions; and Ivan Adams became their "half-time" pastor. 

C. C. Ware led an installation service there for pastor Olin Fox on January 
2, 1949. In October, 1951, their new religious education plant was nearing 
completion; "a two story structure with 11 rooms adequate for many years 
in community service". It added "at least $15,000 to the value of our church 
property." The original plant was painted and new pews installed in Sep- 
tember, 1954, at expense of $2,500. State secretary Ross J. Allen held their 
revival, about which their local correspondent said: "The excellent sermons 
of the guest preacher brought new inspiration to the congregation." 

In 1955 an outside bulletin board "built by our minister", was set. up, and 
the Hassell-Oak City pastoral unity presented the parsonage with a new 
television set. 

Membership at Hassell is reportedly 122. 

Roll of Ministers at Hassell. 

1911-1913 S. W. Sumrell 1938-1946-, J. M. Perry 

1914 T. Hassell Bowen 1947 Ivan Adams 

1915-1918.. ...Thomas Green 1948 W.I.Bennett 

1920 D. F. Tyndall 1949-1952 .._. O. E. Fox 

1921 A. F. Leighton 1953-1956 ... H. C. Hilliard, Sr. 

1922, 1923; 1934-1937 . R. A. Phillips 1957 .... R. Westmoreland 

1924-1928 J. R. Tingle 1958-1961 Z. N. Deshields 

1929-1933 . G. H. Sullivan 

( 43 ) 


Between Chocowinity and Vanceboro, to the east of Federal Highway 17, 
is Haw Branch; the home church of James Latham Winfield who came to 
the Disciples from the Union Baptists in the early 1870's. It was first known 
as Trinity. Having IS members it was enrolled with the State Disciples' 
Annual Meeting on October 8, 1871. Its delegates to State Conventions, were: 
J. L. Winfield, II. H. Hill. W. Cousins, S. B. Latham, B. B. Latham, E. E. 
Warren, and W. W. Galloway. In 1S72, their 20 members gave $10 for evan- 
gelizing; the next year it was increased to $14. In 1882 it was grouped with 
five other churches, namely: Alpha, Union Chapel, Blounts Creek, Ware 
Creek, and Kitts Swamp, for which A. J. Holton was group pastor, his nomi- 
nal salary, $300 per annum. First clerks at Haw Branch, were: S. B. Latham. 
(1877); W. W. Galloway, (1887). The name was changed to Haw Branch 
in 1887, when it reported 47 members. A new house of worship probably was 
erected at this time, provided at a reported cash outlay of $150. Their church 
school in 1892 enrolled 25, including 8 teachers; W. 0. Ellis, superintendent. 

In the fall of 1919 the church gave $121 to the United Budget of the Dis- 
ciples of Christ. This embraced the ten brotherhood-related causes of For- 
eign Missions, American Missions, C.W.B.M., N.B.A., Church Extension, Min- 
isterial Relief, Temperance, Christian Unity. Atlantic Christian College, and 
North Carolina Missions. 

In 1939, from September 25 to October 1, L. B. Bennett, Columbia group 
pastor, held the Haw Branch revival with 26 additions. Local correspondent 
Lilly Mae Warren wrote: "Attendance was excellent; at times a church full 
and enough outside to fill it again. Our church owes no debt. We have a 
church school organized by our pastor, F. A. Lilley, consisting of 83 members." 

On January 6, 1946, the three Hill brothers, all ministers, and who had 
been born and reared there, were together at their old home for a delightful 
reunion. Sons of Mr. and Mrs. John R. Hill, their calling had separated 
them in varied locations so that they had not seen each other for a score of 
years. James Roland Hill then ministered at DeLeon, Texas, Christian 
Church; O. Blakely Hill, at Ridgewood Christian Church, Brooklyn, N. Y.; 
and William Hill served a Northern Baptist church, Seattle, Wash. Having 
been away hundreds and thousands of miles from their old Carolina home 
for 20 years, they found great changes in their native state. 

Membership at Haw Branch is reportedly, 200. 

Roll of Ministers at Haw Branch. 

1888, 1889 J. B. Respess, Sr. 1925-1929. R. L. Topping 

1910-1912; 1916-1919 A. J. Holton 1930-1936 John R. Smith 

1913 Wan-en A. Davis 1937, 1938 R. V. Hope 

1914 J. W. Lollis 1939-1944 F. A. Lilley 

1920 George A. Moore 1945. 1946 _ R. F. Butler 

1912, 1922 D. F. Tyndall 1951 R. H. Walker 

1923, 1924 D. W. Arnold 


It is in the Mackey's Ferry vicinity. First known as Holly Grove, it was 
enrolled with 60 members by the State's Disciples' Annual Meeting on Octo- 
ber 10, 1874; their delegates: W. S. Spruill, and S. Spruill. In 1877, report- 
ing but 40 members, the name was changed to Holly Neck. Their first clerks: 

( 44 ) 

S. H. Snell, (1883); T. S. Swain, (1885); D. W. Snell, (1896); W. B. Brick- 
house, (1901). In 1883 it was embraced in the "Scuppernong District," 
with J. B. Parsons ministering to the three churches, Holly Neck, Phillippi, 
and Scuppernong. In 1896 it had 34 members paying $12.50 that year to 
•'Home Missions," and $15 for "Local Work." In 1887 their "Evergreen". 
(12 months), church school enrolled 35, including 5 teachers; S. H. Snell, 
superintendent, S. B. Davenport, secretary. Their church property valua- 
tion in 1930 was $1000. 

A diary-like report in The Watch Tower, April 1. 1883, by H. S. Davenport, 
related: "In the afternoon of March 4, 1883, I took up my line of March for 
Holly Neck; stopped with Bro. W. L. Hopkins. I preached to a few brethren 
and left an appointment for Friday night, March 9. Arrived back at Bro. 
Hopkins and dined. In the evening went to Bro. Woodley's. Holly Neck 
agreed to cooperate with Phillippi." Soliciting there next year for The 
Watch Tower he said that Hopkins "pays for his Toicer without being asked 
for the money." Davenport then announced: "Holly Neck has a new church." 

After a span of 19 years, Davenport, the veteran missionary, again reported 
early in January, 1902: "Holly Neck is trying to build a church house. They 
need help and are worthy of it. Let us try and help them. Let us all begin 
to save up for the January collections for State Missions." 

T. W. Bowen, ministerial student at Wilson was their pastor in 1924, when 
he wrote: "We had a lovely day at Holly Neck, Sunday, February 24th. Five 
of our Atlantic Christian College students were with us to help sing. Bonner 
Jefferson led the song service and sang a solo both morning and evening. 
Eunice Highsmith, Bonner, and I sang a trio and Ruby Highsmith played 
the accompaniment. We had large audiences both morning and evening." 

Membership at Holly Neck is reportedly 170. 

Roll of Ministers at Holly Neck. 

1882 A. C. Wentz 1925-1927 R. L. Topping 

1883, 1884 J. B. Parsons 1928 George R. Smith 

1888; 1911-1913 W. O. Winfield 1929, 1930 S. Tyler Smith 

1895 W. B. Brickhouse 1931, 1932 G. D. Davis, Sr. 

1914 H. H. Ambrose 1934-1936 M. L. Ambrose 

1915-1920 S. W. Sumrell 1937 H. Edgar Harden 

1921, 1922 J. S. Williams 1938, 1939 _D. W. Arnold 

1924 T. W. Bowen 1949, 1950 W. P. Armstrong 


It is on Federal Highway 264 about midway from Washington to Belhaven. 
Reporting 105 members, it was enrolled by The North Carolina Christian 
Missionary Convention on November 12, 1924. Its first correspondent was 
H. S. Hardison; first church school enrollment, 65; W. S. Windley, superin- 
tendent. Their church property valuation was $5,000; building indebtedness, 

By environment and mutual understanding, Hunters Bridge in 1924, repre- 
sented a merger of two earlier churches of its faith, namely: Yeatsville, 
(1890-1924); and Free Union, (1901-1924). Wherefore it seems proper that 
I should sketch herewith these antecedent fellowships. These were neigh- 
boring churches and the homes respectively of J. Boyd Jones and John M. 

( 45 ) 

The village of Yeatsville, (population, 40), incorporated in 1881, is several 
miles east of Hunters Bridge, on Federal Highway 264. The Disciples there 
numbered 37 when enrolled with their State Convention, October 26, 1890. 
Their first clerks: J. Boyd Jones, (1890); T. L. Jackson, (1898); C. H. Wool- 
aid, (1911). Their church property was valued at $300 in 1898. Their mem- 
bersip declined to 18, and their service had been discontinued at the time 
of the Hunters Bridge establishment. 

The Watch Tower announced editorially on April 26, 1901: "A new church 
was recently dedicated by the Free Will Baptists and Disciples at Webster's 
schoolhouse, near Beckwith postoffice. Bro. G. W. Respess preached the 
sermon." This was the beginning of Free Union. Sixty-seven years had 
passed since Thomas Campbell, of the "Declaration and Address" had stopped 
here overnight with William Campbell, whose home site is identified with 
that of the later Asa Waters, father of John M. Waters. J. Boyd Jones (Sept. 
2, 1869-Jan. 23, 1946), preached his first sermon here, May 28, 1893, and it was 
an early pastorate of John M. Waters, 1913-1914. 

With 29 members, Free Union was enrolled by The North Carolina Chris- 
tian Missionary Convention on November 2, 1901. Asa Waters was their first 
clerk, followed in 1920 by H. S. Hardison. The building's value was $200 in 
1901; $500 in 1907. The seating capacity was 200. In 1903 its gift to State 
Missions was $5; in 1907, its offering to Atlantic Christian College was $105 
Their membership in 1924 was at the all-time high of 91 when the merger 
was effected with the new church on Highway 264. 

The frame plant at Hunter's Bridge, 26 X 50 feet, was dedicated on May 3, 
1924. There was immediate need for $150; the amount raised that day was 
$166.95. The church at Washington "donated their old bell." The three 
services of the day were largely attended. E. V. Spicer spoke in the morning: 
W. O. Winfield in the afternoon; and C. E. Lee at night. 

A local layman, Josh S. Waters, in April, 1938, wrote: "Our Sunday School 
here is excellent; average attendance, 65. I am very much interested in our 
State Work, and will do all I can to get our Hunters Bridge folks to do their 
part for it." In September, 1943, ten of their young men were in the armed 
services of World War II, namely: Russell Jefferson, David Everett, Hubert 
Waters, Maurice E. Jefferson, Dumay S. Tetterton, Phillip L. Paul, Cornelius 
Tetterton, Tommie Tetterton, Wilbur Curtis Hardison, James Asa Webster. 

Pastor H. G. James led the church in adopting the Budget Plan at their 
"Home Coming," on October 24, 1943. Their correspondent, Mrs. H. S. Hardi- 
son commented: "We feel very thankful for this." 

On July 23, 1944, C. C. Ware ordained there the following: elders: Willie 
Elliott, J. H. Ambrose, Josh S. Waters, and C. A. Tetterton, (chairman of 
board); deacons: W. H. Sullivan, Lowell Sullivan, A. T. Waters, Jesse Tet- 
terton, Elmer Waters, D. S. Tetterton, Jarvis A. Waters, and Irvin Waters. 

Membership at Hunters Bridge is reportedly 186. 

Roll of Ministers at Hunters Bridge. 

1911 J. W. Tyndall, Sr. 1928 S. Tyler Smith 

1913, 1914 J. M. Waters 1929.. J. H. Edwards 

1916-1918- _._ J. T. Moore 1930 J. W. Shockley 

1919, 1921, 1922, 1931 C. E. Lee 

1926, 1927 W. O. Winfield 1932-1937 L. B. Scarborough 

1920 J. R. Lee 1938-1940 J. A. Saunders 

1923-1925. J. S. Williams 1941 Dennis Warren Davis 

( 46 ) 

1942. .._. John R. Smith 1953, 1954 R. H. Walker 

1943, 1944 H. G. James 1960, 1961 W. C. Chesson 

1945-1950 W. I. Bennett 


It is on Federal Highway 64 about midway from Williamston to Plymouth; 
population, 538 in 1960. It is an old settlement on the Roanoke, incorporated 
in 1785, and long known for its commercial fisheries. Its two successive post- 
masters in 1834, John P. Harden and Peter A. Summey divided the total of 
38 cents "annual compensation' between them. But the increased postal 
traffic in the growing village of 1839 rewarded James Whitaker to the amount 
of $16.28. In 1862, Jamesville was one of the four postoffices in Martin 
County, the other three being Hamilton, Roanoke, and Williamston. In 
1867, E. H. Bailey was postmaster, and a hotel, an academy, and three stores 
were there; the merchants: H. W. Mizell, John R. Mizell, and William W. 
Moore. Mercantile activities grew to 28 establishments in 1896, including 
the drug store of Dr. W. R. Mays. Then the distinguished Academy was 
conducted by R. J. Peel; and saw mills were run by W. L. Stallings and F. B. 

The county was a warmly inviting field for pioneering Disciples. Jamesville 
in 1886 was the postoffice for four of their preachers, namely: Dennis 
Wrighter Davis, Henry Winfield, C. H. Swain, and J. W. Hardison. James- 
ville Christian Church having 21 members applied for admission and was 
received by The North Carolina Christian Missionary Convention on October 
28, 1888; their delegates: A. Nelson Waters, and N. R. Roberson. Their first 
clerks: J. E. Hardison, (1888); Franklin Jackson, (1889); Wilson Manning, 
(1894). R. J. Peel superintended their first church school in 1897, enrollment, 
21. He was later Superintendent of the County's Public Schools. Jamesville's 
giving to State Missions was 50 cents in 1888, increased to $5 the next year, 
and in 1897 their offerings to Home and Foreign Missions aggregated $81.50. 
For building their plant, $500 was given in 1888 — a per capita of $23.81, 
highest that year among the 108 churches of its faith in the State. The 
property valuation in 1901 was $600; in 1930, $1500. 

In 1883 a definitive name for the Old Ford Union contemporaneous with the 
Albemarle, and Hyde, was "The Missionary Cooperation." It convened at 
Poplar Chapel, near neighbor of Jamesville, on September 29, 1883. A minute 
of it reads: "On motion agreed that a collection be taken up for the building 
of a house of worship at or near Jamesville." A letter came to J. J. Harper 
from Henry Winfield dated Jamesville, N. C, August 8, 1887. It said: 

We are progressing slowly on our new church in this town. We are 
struggling hard against poverty and other disadvantages to get the 
house so we can hold a series of meetings in it this fall. We have not 
begged any yet, but we feel humble enough now to begin. We shall feel 
most grateful for any assistance however small. 

I. J. Spencer, of Richmond, Va., able editor of Tlie Missionary Weekly, 
visited occasionally in Carolina in the interest of his paper which had be- 
come widely acceptable here. H. C. Bowen had announced in February, 1880, 
"the Jamesville building is complete except the painting which will be done 
soon." Spencer was invited to the Jamesville dedication set for March 30 to 
coincide with the Union Meeting there, a common procedural custom. He 
attended and recorded editorially this brief: 

( 47 ) 

R. W. Stancill preached the Jamesville dedication sermon which was 
vigorous, scriptural and appropriate. He is giving particular attention 
to church building enterprises. The new house was not large enough 
to accommodate more than three-fourths of the attendants; it is probably 
worth $1200; the lot is valued at $200. A little more than $200 was 
raised to clear the debt of $171.03, leaving a portion to be given to the 
new church at Williamston. H. C. Bowen was a happy man when the 
handsome new building was given over to the worship of God. Dennis 
Wrighter Davis, a gifted young man, strong in body, mind, and spirit, 
rode 18 miles after filling a Sunday appointment to attend our concluding 
service. A. Nelson Waters is one of the most liberal and indefatigable 
workers in this little band of about a score. Friends outside the church 
aided materially on the building. A ripe harvest seems to await the 
reaping at Jamesville. 

As pastor J. Boyd Jones left Jamesville in September, 1897, to attend the 
College of the Bible at Lexington, he said: "Our heart rejoices at what the 
Lord has done here. Three years ago there was not an organization at 
Jamesville, now it has one of the best in the State." Joseph D. Waters in 
January, 1902, said: "It was considered almost impossible to establish a 
church in Jamesville. J. Boyd Jones was sent there by the State Board in 
1895 and after two years of faithful work he left it as one of our best 

Stanley Stallings, (1823-1900) was an efficient Christian layman for forty 
years, first at Maple Grove, then at Macedonia, and for the last several years 
at Jamesville. His pastor, J. J. Harper called him "an earnest Christian 
man who loved the church." Samuel L. Wallace, a prosperous, dedicated 
citizen, was a pillar for both community and church, a liberal giver for all 
local betterment and for approved missionary outreach. 

The J. J. Taylor-Owen M. Walker revival there beginning July 27, 1913, 
resulted in 32 "good additions." The community was stirred. The crowds 
"represented so much territory that fully 1000 people attended frequently 
and this in a little village of 244 population." 

Pastor R. A. Phillips announced in October, 1922: "We have recently 
painted and repaired our Jamesville plant inside and outside. You would 
hardly know it was the same building. Our women have already raised 
practically enough for this $300 expenditure." C. B. Mashburn held their 
revival September 15-26, 1935. Concerning the results, he said: "From this 
experience the fifteen baptized young people will have inspiration to live 
their best." 

The Walter L. Browns gave a prominent site for a new plant early in 1949. 
The building committee for this development: E. H. Ange, chairman; Mrs. 
Clyde Brown, and C. C. Fleming. As constructed it is a brick-veneered 
building, 32 X 55 feet, of rectangular structure, pulpit in center, with bap- 
tistry beneath it. The men gave liberally as individuals. The women had 
raised $2100, later increased to $2,500. Toward completion much manual help 
and building materials were freely contributed. By May, 1950, heroic local 
giving had assembled $6500, and the remaining $5,000 needed was borrowed 
from a brotherhood source. This made possible a truly representative plant 
strategically located for east-Martin service. It was opened at their "Home 
Coming" on October 20, 1951, H. L. Tyer, pastor, followed by a revival led 
by John L. Goff, with 7 additions. 

Ross J. Allen led their revival in September, 1954, adding 3, and bringing 
"new inspiration to the congregation." Chimes given by the C. C. Flemings 
were dedicated on May 12, 1957. Led by E. L. Martin, building Committee 

( 48 ) 

chairman, their new parsonage was ready for occupancy on June 1, 1957, to 
serve the new Jamesville-Everetts pastoral unity. Bill Waters as ad interim 
minister had ably served them. 

At Jamesville, Marion C. Jackson was a ministerial recruit. A later one, 
Arthur Wallace Lilly, teacher in their church school and leader of their 
young people, is now in training at the Lexington College of the Bible. 

Membership at Jamesville is reportedly, 120. 

Roll of Ministers at Jamesville. 

1889 H. C. Bowen 1937 J. M. Perry 

1894-1897 J. Boyd Jones 1938, 1939 C. J. Bradner, Jr. 

1S99 J. J. Harper 1940, 1941 W. I. Bennett 

1911-1918 A. J. Manning 1945, 1946 W. J. B. Burrus 

1919. 1920 W. H. Marler 1947, 1948 J. W. Lollis 

1921 C. E. Lee 1949, 1950 W. C. White 

1922, 1932, 1942 R. A. Phillips 1951-1953 H. L. Tyer 

1923, 1924.-- __D. W. Arnold 1954-1956 J. M. Moudy 

1925 E. E. Moore 1957 W. J. Waters 

1926-1928 J. B. Respess 1958, 1959 A. W. Huffman, Sr. 

1929, 1930 C. B. Mashburn 1960, 1961 C. T. Myhand 

1933-1934; 1943, 1944 G. D. Davis, Sr. 


This is a stringtown village environed by the wild beauty of an oceanic 
borderland. At the northeastern tip of North Carolina on the peninsula 
between Curirtuck Sound and the North River estuary is Jarvisburg. It is 
on Federal Highway 158, approximately 21 miles south of the courthouse 
and 10 north of Point Harbor. It had one of the eight postoffices in Curri- 
tuck County in 1877. Its population was 25 in 1896, and the proprietors of its 
four stores, were: P. G. Gallop, Owen and Forbes, S. J. Owens and Bro., 
and D. R. Scott. 

Dedicated Disciple pioneers had preached much in this "Lost Province" 
by the turn of the century. At intervals during the period, 1911 to 1939, for 
five years State Missions sustained materially the ministry at Jarvisburg. 
With 50 members it was enrolled by The North Carolina Christian Missionary 
Convention on November 5, 1914. Its church school enrolled 75 in 1915; 
William R. Wright, superintendent. First clerks: William R. Wright, (1915) ; 
Willis H. Gallop, (1918). Their property valuation was $2,000 in 1915; in 

1930, $3,000. A fierce coastal storm left their plant slightly careened for 
some years. 

William Grant Burleigh, of Washington, D. C, held their two-weeks' 
revival in the fall of 1920, with 15 additions. Earlier, pastor C. B. Mashburn 
had resided there to serve the three churches in the County. He returned 
for a County-wide evangelistic effort in the summer of 1936. A group-wide 
evangelizing committee was appointed, Grover C. Sawyer, of Powell's Point, 
chairman. Representing Jarvisburg on this committee were: Charles A. 
Wright, and Charles Garrington. 

State Missionary pastor, E. J. Harris served them in 1939, and held their 
revival in July, baptizing two. He visited 30 homes and testified: "I believe 
that our Currituck people are better united now than in years. We are all 
grateful for State and District cooperative help leading to this wonderful out- 

( 49 ) 

Membership at Jarvisburg is reportedly 175. 
Roll of Ministers at Jarvisburg. 

1914 C. E. Lee 1939-1940 E. J. Harris 

1915-1919 C. B. Mashburn 1944-1946 .P. E. Cayton 

1920, 1921 Z. N. Deshields 1949 H. Edgar Harden 

1923-1928 _ -J. R. Lee 


When it began 106 years ago, this church was in Washington County. A 
final adjustment of its south boundary line with Beaufort in 1911, placed it 
in the latter county. It is located on State Highway 32 in the Acre Station 
community. The mother church was Shiloh, which enrolled in the Bethel 
Conference in 1850, with 64 members, Samuel Campbell, delegate, and was 
lost to the roll in the 1860s. Certain Disciples from old Shiloh met at the 
Long Acre schoolhouse on August 31, 1855, and were "duly organized" by 
evangelists John R. Winfield, John P. Mallett, and Seth H. Tyson. A previous 
revival there had yielded 13 baptisms. The charter members were 12 whites 
and 8 negro slaves. First officers: elder, William J. Bowen; deacons: L. K. 
Respess, William Bowen, Sr. Reporting 19 members the church was received 
by the State Disciples' Annual Meeting, on October 20, 1855. 

Late in 1859 they completed their "free house of worship" which was 
dedicated on Christmas Day, 1859, by J. M. Gurganus and J. B. Respess, Sr. 
Seven times it was host to the First District Union from 1860 to 1877, in their 
quarterly sessions. 

Disciple delegates in their annual State Conventions, were: Everett Waters, 
William J. Bowen, Henry Bowen, Horace Oden, Isaac Wallace, S. B. Latham, 
J. C. Respess, Henry C. Bowen, W. R. Baynor, George W. Bowen, W. H. Bowen. 
W. D. Bowen, J. B. Respess, Sr., H. H. Bowen, C. B. Latham. First clerks: 
H. H. Bowen, (1877) ; George W. Bowen, (1885) ; George W. Bowen, Jr., (1889). 
Their first church school, (1887) enrolled 31, including 6 teachers, J. H. 
Respess, superintendent, and "books owned by individuals," numbered 25. 
In 1892, C. B. Latham was superintendent; A. L. Bowen, secretary. Their 
church property valuation in 1901 was $250; in 1930, $3500. 

The family of Mr. and Mrs. Manley Macon Respess, which long has blessed 
the Long Acre community, is remarkable. Mr. Respess died June 26, 1927, 
but the widow, Joanna Gurganus Respess, born November 28, 1863, daughter 
of evangelist Henry Smith Gurganus, was living December 20, 1953, when a 
feature article by Mary M. Toler appeared in the Raleigh News and Observer. 
Her family record then was a superb roster of numerals; 14 children, 44 
grandchildren, 105 great-grandchildren, and 11 great-great-grandchildren. It 
was said: "Her happiness has been her ever growing family and her connec- 
tion with the Christian Church. Each Sunday finds her at service in her 
church. 69 of her descendants and their spouses were members of the Chris- 
tian Church." 

Marked improvements, early in 1943, were made in the local church plant, 
interior and exterior. New class rooms were planned as Pastor Z. N. Deshields 
reported: "The church voted on February 28 to double the amount to State 
Missions this year. No worthy cause is here cast into the waste basket." 
The work on better local facilities went forward in 1955. Improved access 
to the nearby highway was given by a new well-drained, all-weather road. 

( 50 ) 

One and a half acres of additional land was acquired and cleared. A deep 
well was drilled and the cemetery put in proper order. The plant was given 
white asbestos siding; a bulk gas heating system installed; and six badly 
needed church school rooms were constructed. The church women provided 
new hardwood floors, new carpets, and new pulpit furniture. The church 
came to "half-time" sei'vice with a resident minister. 

Some ministerial recruits from this church: Roy O. Respess and Edwin 
G. Respess, respectively son and grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Manley Macon 
Respess; Henry C. Bowen, H. T. Bowen and T. W. Bowen. 

Membership at Long Acre Chapel is reportedly 247. 

Roll of Ministers at Long Acre Chapel. 

1855 -- J. P. Mallett 1922, 1923 J. S. Williams 

1856, 1857, 1866- 1924 W. O. Winfield 

1869, 1876 J. R. Winfield 1925 George A. Moore 

1858-1862, 1873-1875.-J. M. Gurganus 1926-1928 .... JR. O. Respess 

1863, 1870, 1871 J. B. Respess, Sr. 1929 W. I. Bennett 

1864, 1865, 1876-1906--H. S. Gurganus 1930. J. T. Forrest 

1872 S. H. Moore 1931-1934 G. D. Davis, Sr. 

1909-1912 Thomas Green 1935-1941 J.A.Saunders 

1913, 1945, 1946.... J. W. Lollis 1942-1944 Z. N. Deshields 

1914 Pendell Bush 1947 R. L. Topping 

1915-1918 C. E. Lee 1948-1952 H. L. Tyer 

1919-1921 J. R. Lee 1955. 1956 Reece Turner 


It is on Federal Highway 17, eight miles south of Williamston, and four- 
teen north of Washington. For 96 years it has worshipped there on the 
original site. First known as Woolard's schoolhouse, evangelist Josephus 
Latham organized it on September 30, 1865, solemnizing the occasion with 
his sermon on Acts 28:22. Their officers ordained the next day, were: elders: 
Eli K. Powell, William Wynn; deacons: Kenneth Woolard, Jesse H. Woolard. 

The 20 Charter members were: 

Men: Eli K. Powell, Kenneth Woolard, Jesse H. Woolard, John Wool- 
ard, J. Edwin Peel, William Wynn, William H. Rubs. 

Women: Louise Powell, Millie Woolard, Nancy J. Wynn, Martha Rid- 
dick, Chrissy Wiggins, Sarah E. Peel, Mary S. Lassiter, Mary Ann Gur- 
ganus, Tart Eason, Milly Ann Woolard, Cinderella Rogers, Chrissy Peel. 
Pauline Lilly. 

The church with its 20 members was enrolled October 8, 1865, by the State 
Disciples' Annual Meeting; the name Macedonia was given in 186S. The 
support of this church was steadfastly effective for the Disciples' State Con- 
vention through their chosen delegates. These were, 1865 to 1889: Kenneth 
Woolard, Edwin Peel, William Wynn, H. A. Coltrain, Jesse H. Woolard, John 
M. Green, J. H. Leggett, W. W. Leggett, R. B. Woolard, J. S. Woolard, J. A. 
Woolard, Eli K. Powell, T. S. Holliday, H. Woolard, H. W. Holliday, Josephus 
Woolard, J. L. Woolard. 

Their first clerks: J. Edwin Peel, (1865) ; Joseph L. Holliday, (1900). Their 
first church school, (1893), enrolled 35, including 3 teachers; L. T. Holli- 
day, superintendent, Joseph L. Holliday, secretary. Their church property 
valuation in 1901. was $500; in 1930, $1,000. One of the earliest Woman's 

( 51 ) 

Missionary Societies in the State was at Macedonia, (1877), probably organ- 
ized by evangelist Jesse T. Davis, their pioneer field worker. Reporting for 
the New Bern Church building project, September 28, 1878, N. S. Richardson 
acknowledged: "The Sisters Misison of Macedonia Church, Martin County, 
by the hands of Miss Mattie Woolard, has contributed in cash, $1.25." 

J. L. Winfield held their revival in August, 1888, and commented: 

There is a strong element in the community here against the church. 
They consolidated against us and worked industriously to impede the 
progress of the meeting. But we had overflowing audiences and the very 
best attention. We closed after nine days of hard labor with 16 addi- 
tions and the church greatly revived. A strong and able defender is 
needed at Macedonia. 

The veteran. H. S. Davenport, visiting there. July 14, 1902, said: "This is 
one of Bro. C. E. Lee's churches. They have a good house and seem to be 
earnest Christians." Etta Nunn came in behalf of the woman's work and 
organized their C.W.B.M. Auxiliary on February 4, 1912, continuing a service 
which they had initiially inaugurated 34 years before. Officers for the new 
group: president, Mrs. Joseph L. Holliday; vice president, Mrs. Alphonso 
Ward; secretary, Amanda Peel; treasurer, Mrs. Stanton Revels. Miss Etta 
concluded: "It is planning for faithful, intelligent work. With encouraging 
help we feel sure this will be a permanent organization." Their year's report 
credited this Auxiliary with 14 members, 5 subscriptions to Missionary Tid- 
ings, and $12.60 contributed to general and state funds. 

In the summer of 1934, sensing need of expansion, the church bought the 
adjoining school property and temporary class rooms for ultimate enlarge- 
ment of permanent facilities. In their building fund, November, 1940, was 
$3000 toward constructing a brick-veneered plant, 36 X 56 feet. It was 
planned for the church school rooms to open into the main auditorium. 
Twenty thousand feet of lumber had been contributed, and two men, Robert 
Lee Perry and Henry C. Green had given all of the needed brick. Much 
manual help was to be freely applied. Designed adequately it was credit- 
able to the prosperous community. 

It was dedicated, debt-free, on February 1, 1942. Provided were a large 
auditorium, and six classrooms, two of which were up-stairs reached by 
disappearing stairways. The floor is of oak; the roof of asbestos. The pews 
and 126 chairs cost in excess of $1800; the entire plant was then valued at 
$15,000. The old building was sold to Staton Revels for $125. The building 
committee: Albert Perry, superintendent; James C. Gurkin, Albert Gurkin, 
John Gurkin, Roy T. Griffin, Robert Lee Perry, Henry C. Green. 

A native ministerial recruit, Charley Rhodes Harrison was ordained here 
at his home church, on September 2, 1945. C. C. Ware, assisted by the local 
pastor, officiated. 

Membership at Macedonia is reportedly, 200. 

Roll of Ministers at Macedonia. 

1865 _._ J. J. Coltrain 1913, 1914 John R. Smith 

1881-18S3 Augustus Latham, Jr. 1926, 1927 D. G. Saunders 

1884 J. L. Burns 1928, 1929 J. A. Saunders 

1889 H. C. Bowen 1930-1933 W. J. B. Burrus 

1900-1910 C. E. Lee 1934-1948 Dennis Warren Davis 

1911, 1912; 1915-1925... A. J. Manning 1949, 1950 ....P. E. Cayton 

( 52 ) 


It is seven miles south-southeast of Jamesville, and east of Fairview, a 
sister church. Resulting in 31 baptisms, a revival was held in 1854 at Taylors 
Chapel, the location being in the modern Maple Grove community. Where- 
fore a new church was organized there that year to retain its traditional 
name on the Disciples' roll for 20 years. The home of John James Coltrain, 
(1814-1881), first resident Disciple evangelist in Martin County, was there. 
He was baptized by H. D. Cason on November 3, 1853, and forthwith began to 
preach. He fathered this new congregation on his native heath. 

It is the second oldest church of its faith in the County, as nearby Welch's 
Creek has been active with the Disciples since 1841. With 38 members 
Taylors Chapel enrolled with the Disciples' Annual Meeting in the State, on 
October 14, 1854. Their delegates in State Conventions were: J. J. Coltrain, 
H. Stallings, and Stanley Stallings. Its membership had declined to 24 in 
1873, after which it was discontinued. Welch's Creek likewise disappeared 
this same year from the roll after 33 years of foundational service. It is 
plausible to infer that remnants of both Welch's Creek and Taylor's Chapel 
went into the making of the nearby Fairview church which arose with 55 
members at this coincident date, 1874. 

After 37 years of suspended animation, Taylor's Chapel was reconstituted 
with 28 members as Maple Grove. It was enrolled November 24, 1910, C. C. 
Coltrain, clerk, in The North Carolina Christian Missionary Convention. To 
brotherhood-related missions in 1911, it gave $5; in 1915, $20; in 1916, $21.15. 
Their first church school, (1915), enrolled 40, C. C. Coltrain, superintendent. 
Their church property valuation in 1916 was $750; in 1930, $1,000. 

J. J. Harper (1841-1908), founding father of Atlantic Christian College, 
gave an account of the first sermon of his notable career. He preached it at 
Taylor's Chapel, May 18, 1861. He described the Chapel building as "a 
dilapidated free church, with a two-story pulpit at the left of the door in 
the side of the building." Further, he reported: "The day was cloudy and 
cool and the congregation seemed cooler." He found J. J. Coltrain a real 
friend in need, who said to him, "Young man mount the stand!" He spoke 
for a restrained 25 minutes on Romans 2:22. He declared: "The attention 
of the congregation was excellent, and Bro. Coltrain gave me many words of 
encouragement and friendly admonition for which I have ever been grate- 

William Christian Manning, (1871-1938), and his brother, Asa James 
Manning, (1869-1927), were born and reared at Maple Grove. Their parents 
were John W. and Sarah Daniel Manning. Their father was a Confederate 
soldier, served as a legislator at Raleigh and maintained the pre-Revolutionary 
homestead acquired by his forebears from the direct grant of a British king. 
The first named above was an outstanding citizen, and the foremost layman 
in the Disciples' State Convention counsels for many years. Asa James 
Manning, his brother, was a successful educator at a crucial period, and a 
minister of excellent quality. These men made an immeasurable contribution 
for good to their State and to their church. 

Membership at Maple Grove is reportedly 250. 

Roll of Ministers at Maple Grove. 

1911-1927 A. J. Manning 1937-1950 ......M. L. Ambrose 

1928-1931— _. D. W. Arnold 1950-1961 R. H. Walker 

1932-1936 Daniel Hardison 

( 53 ) 


An old coastal village is Middleton, in Hyde County, incorporated 174 
years ago. Its postmaster, 1834 to 1839, was James Adams, whose annual pay 
decreased from $57.13 to $50.58 during the five-year period. Postal authorities 
usually spell it Middletown, but occasionally Middleton. With that latter 
spelling it began on Disciple registry and it is followed here. In 1896 its 
population was 175; it then had 10 general stores, an Academy, in which W. 
R. Jinnett, Disciple preacher, reportedly had taught, and two wind-mills 
for the processing of corn, (for bread, not spirits). 

The Hookerton Union in 1872 paid their home missionary, Josephus 
Latham, $100, to evangelize two months. The effort was mainly spent at 
Middleton resulting in 49 baptisms. This was a substantial start, for their 
new church enrolled with 60 members by the Disciples' Annual Meeting, 
October 12, 1872. Their delegates to the State's Annual Meetings were: 
Captain Gray M. Silverthorne, H. D. Cason, J. Montier Hall, S. M. Silver- 
thorne. Their first clerks were: Captain Gray M. Silverthorne, (1872); J. 
Montier Hall, (1887). Their first reported church school, (1890), enrolled 
22, including 2 teachers; J. Montier Hall, superintendent. Their church 
property valuation in 1901 was $600; in 1930, $3500. 

George C. Respess, articulate layman, on June 1. 1877, related: 

The church at Middleton, with which I worship, has built a new house 
40 X 27 feet. It is not finished but is so we can meet in it. There are 
some noble-hearted Christians here, and the cause needs a live preacher. 
I am doing what I can to stir them up to duty, meeting every Lord's Day 
in Sunday School, and have a good attendance. We are all learning more 
about the Word of God than we knew before. We use the International 
Bible Lessons. I am truly glad that the Disciples in N. C. are being 
stirred up in the cause of home missions. If there ever was a slow 
people to act we are." 

Their young Lexington-trained pastor, Merritt Owen, arrived in the sum- 
mer of 1899. On July 14, he reflected: 

My first impression was very discouraging. They had been a long 
time without regular preaching. Now however they are responding in 
all their former earnestness. They are a quiet people and easily im- 
pressed with the truth. They have many latent powers which promise 
much and I anticipate not only a most pleasant but a very profitable 
work among them. 

Their old house of worship had stood for 23 years, but sadly was in need 
of repair. Owen's leadership was effective. In July 1900, he announced: 
For many years Middleton has struggled hard to get a good house of worship. 
It is now finished. Our belfry is completed, the most beautiful in the 
County, and the church has been painted. This congregation will now be 
able to help other struggling mission points." Owen engaged in many re- 
vivals, and confessed: "So many demands for protracted meetings requires 
all my time, and this work of soul-saving I deem most important." 

In September, 1925, it was reported: "Middleton church has enlarged her 
building and has a baptistry completley furnished, filled with rain water from 
the roof, unique among our N. C. country churches." 

A recruit to full-time Christian service is Margaret Silverthorne, daughter 
of Mr. and Mrs. John D. Silverthorne, of Middleton. Margaret is thoroughly 
trained for best leadership in Religious Education. As Director she has 

( 54 ) 

served great churches such as Danville and Owensboro in Kentucky, and is 
now "Director of Children's Work" in the Tennessee State Missions office 
at Nashville. Other recruits from Hyde are ministers: William Swindell. 
W. J. B. Burrus, E. J. Harris, Morgan McKinney, Roe L. Harris. 

The Middleton-Engelhard pastoral unity was effected January 1, 1955, 
when A. W. Huffman, Sr. moved into their new parsonage. Their C.Y.F. the 
next year presented the church with a new Wurlitzer piano. Tom Hill and 
Mrs. H. H. Settle visited there in the interest of world missions. An active 
C.W.F. promoted many improvements to service utilities. Church school 
rooms were enlarged. New pulpit chairs and communion table were dedi- 
cated by C. C. Ware, in June, 1958, F. W. Wibiral, pastor. Wings of the 
building were remodeled, new walls installed, and a choir loft built in. The 
congregation had joined gladly in building the "modern seven-room parson- 
age with an expansion attic." 

In 1959 all debts were liquidated and choir robes provided. The church 
goals for missions and benevolence were met by April 15. The congregation 
was host to all church people of the community for the World Day of Prayer. 

Membership at Middleton is reportedly 134. 

Roll of Ministers at Middleton. 

1881 - J. R. Winfleld 1922-1924; 1932-1934 J. C. Groce 

1882 J. B. Parsons 1925 J. L. Green 

1883 J. S. Henderson 1926, 1927 J. H. Hanson 

1884 Augustus Latham, Jr. 1928 V. L. Parker 

1888 H. D. Cason 1929 R. Paul Parker 

1889-1896 -W. R. Jinnett 1930 G. Winter 

1899, 1900 Merritt Owen 1935 H. L. Tyer 

1901 W. F. Smith 1936 D. G. Saunders 

1902, 1903 I. W. Rogers 1937-1939 A. B. Crocker 

1907 Sackville M. Smith 1941 Z. N. Deshields 

1909 J. W. McCleary 1942-1945 J. Thomas Brown 

1913 Dennis C. Myers 1946-1954 F. A. Lilley 

1914 A. C. Neal 1955-1957 A. W. Huffman, Sr. 

1915, 1916 G. H. Sullivan 1958-1961.. __.F. W. Wibiral 

1919, 1920 J. P. Ellis 


Eastward on Federal Highway 264, across the Pungo and its expansive 
marsh, is Mount Olive Church. It is about midway from Belhaven to Scran- 
ton. The earliest church of Disciples of Christ in Hyde County, it was first 
known as Clark's Schoolhouse; not until 1888 was it listed as Mount Olive. 
Registering 26 members it was enrolled by its State's Annual Meeting on 
October 14, 1866. Their delegates to State Conventions, were: J. E. Gurkin, 
and J. K. Voliva. Their membership grew to 53, when in 1887 and 1888, 
they expended $95.85 on "Building and Repairs." This statistical bracket 
probably indicates that using the custom of the times in a generous supply 
of contributed materials and labor, they erected a plant of their own in lieu 
of the schoolhouse which had been their church home for 22 years. J. K. 
Voliva was their first clerk, (1887). F. A. Crary superintendent their first 
church school in 1888, enrolling 56, of whom 6 were teachers. The church 
that year gave $25 for "District Evangelizing"; $11.50 for Home Missions; 

( 55 ) 

and $71.75 for preaching. Their C.W.B.M. Auxiliary in 1911, reported 10 
members, 6 subscribers to Missionary Tidings, and $21.70 given that year to 
general and state funds. Their church property valuation in 1901, was $500; 
in 1930, $7,000. 

John R. Winfield reporting October 1, 1882, said: "The brethren at Clark's 
Schoolhouse are making arrangements to build a house of worship. Crops 
in Hyde are badly injured, and we are somewhat despondent, but we trust 
in the wisdom and power of Him Who overrules all things for the good of 
His people." 

The saintly and beloved H. S. Davenport, (1837-1921) preached for a long 
period at Mount Olive. His monument, symbol of lasting appreciation of the 
brotherhood who loved him, stands in the cemetery there beside the church. 
On April 6, 1891, he wrote: "Not long ago a collection for missions was 
taken in one of our churches and seven cents was collected. It is time to 
have a better cooperative system. The money cannot be obtained unless the 
churches respond. We need more consecration, more harmony, more energy." 
With the passing years his missionary convictions grew. Speaking his con- 
science on May 12, 1899, he said: 

"I would be as happy as a poor mortal ought to be under the circum- 
stances if the brethren and sisters would interest themselves a little 
more in the cause of Missions. We have no idea how much we can do 
if we engage in cooperative systematic work. I have ordered a number 
of Home Mission envelopes. I am going to get 189 envelopes for State 
Missions. In my field there are 189 members." 

Augutstus Latham, Jr., a founding father of the Washington church, held 
the Mount Olive revival in mid-August, 1899. It resulted in 7 baptisms. He 
exulted: "In all my experience I have never seen a more interested and 
earnest audience." Then he recalled this scene of 36 years before: "On 
October 2, 1863, on the spot where the Mount Olive church now stands, I 
made my profession of faith at the close of the sermon of the old veteran 
of the cross, S. L. Davis, father of this Mount Olive church. The next day 
I was baptized by another pioneer, John R. Winfield." 

A fervent letter was published in The Watch Tower, September 12, 1902 
from their pure-hearted layman, A. R. Davenport. It said: 

Mt. Olive is not progressing as well as she might. We have too many 
anti-missionary members. Oh that we all would wake up and realize 
that we are commanded to give as the Lord has prospered us, not only 
to the preacher, but to every good work! If we would all do this, we 
would not make so many fruitless efforts, and the Lord would bless us 
three fold. Brethren pray that we may be of one mind in the Master's 

C. L. Davis, May 29, 1903, said: "Bro. Thomas Green our pastor at Mt. 
Olive is doing us good service. That we are on the up-grade all along the 
line is evidenced by our increased mission offerings, and that we are painting 
our house and making some improvements otherwise." 

Etta Nunn, by boat in company with a group of Disciple leaders, made "her 
first visit to Hyde" in June, 1910, when she organized the Mount Olive 
C.W.B.M. Auxiliary. The congregation completed its elegant building in 
1925, said to be "the best church plant of any faith in the County." A 
feature thought to be unique for the time and locality was its "steam heat 
lately provided." 

( 56 ) 

Caleb Lafayette Davis, (Oct. 23, 1854-March 2, 1936), son of Samuel Little, 
and Sarah Smith Davis, was a lifelong resident of this community, an active 
member of Mount Olive for more than 60 years. His father was the earliest 
resident Disciple minister in Hyde. Caleb became a Christian early in his 
boyhood and was faithful to the end. An ordained lay-minister, he was an 
excellent farmer and accumulated a substantial estate. Surviving him was 
the widow, Ellen Cutler Davis, and the daughter, Mrs. Lulu Pearl Farlowe, 
of Roleigh, N. C. 

Membership at Mount Olive is reportedly 100. 

Roll of Ministers at Mt. Olive. 

1866-1880 S. L. Davis 1913 R. L. Topping 

1881 J. R. Winfield 1914 S. Tyler Smith 

1882-1888 __D. H. Adams 1915-1919 J. W. Lollis 

1891-1900 H. S. Davenport 1920-1942 John R. Smith 

1903 Thomas Green 1944, 1945 ._.... W. P. Armstrong 

1906 J. R. Tingle 1946-1950 M. L. Ambrose 

1911, 1912 C. L. Davis 


It is at Wysocking Bay, a few miles south of Middleton. The village is 
Gulrock, population 70, now without a postoffice, but in 1943, it was one of 
the ten then in the County. The location is several miles directly east of 
New Holland. A mission of Middleton Disciples, Mount Pleasant was en- 
rolled by The North Carolina Christian Missionary Convention, November 6, 
1919. That year it had given $50 for local purposes, and $1.24 for brother- 
hood-related missions. Their first clerk was Mrs. G. W. Peterson; first 
church school, 1921, enrolling 35, B. D. Pugh, superintendent. Their church 
property valuation in 1930 was $500. 

A boating party left Belhaven in June, 1910, destined for Mount Pleasant 
in Hyde. Aboard were H. C. Bowen, Belhaven pastor, Carrie, his daughter, 
Etta Nunn, and other Christian leaders. He planned to conduct a tent 
meeting, which however the storm off Pamlico Sound, prevented. Albeit 
Watson's Chapel, Methodist, was offered and accepted, where, said Bowen, 
"We had the privilege of preaching to large congregations." Moreover "a 
lot was promised during the meeting on which to build a church." Added 
the evangelist: "This is one of the richest districts in the County." Dennis 
C. Myers, their new pastor, arrived on June 7, 1913. He observed: "I was 
pleased when I saw our church home at Mt. Pleasant. The building itself 
speaks for our people at that place. Their enthusiasm does not die." 

Pastor J. P. Ellis in 1920, organized Mount Pleasant's church school in 
March. He announced: "I reorganized the church there on May 23, 1920, 
membership, 36. They have a good little church house. They have bought 
a bell for it, and raised about $100 toward building the belfry- We are ex- 
pecting a good work of this little church." 

Membership at Mount Pleasant, (Hyde), is reportedly 20. 

Roll of Ministers at Mt. Pleasant, (Hyde). 

1913 Dennis C. Myers 1925 J. L. Green 

1919, 1920 J. P. Ellis 1926, 1927 . J. H. Hanson 

1922-1924; 1932-1934 J. C. Groce 1928 V. L. Parker 

( 57 ) 

1929- - R. Paul Parker 1941 Z. N. Deshields 

1930 G. Winter 1942-1945- J. Thomas Brown 

1937-1939 A. B. Crocker 1951 __F. A. Lilley 


In Pitt County, north of Tar River is Mount Pleasant. Its location put it 
in the old First District of the Disciples. Here at Brown's Schoolhuse 
was held the revival by Josephus Latham and Amos J. Battle, July 12-30. 
1868, resulting in 34 baptisms, and 16 other members uniting by statement. 
Whereupon the church was organized July 18, 1868, and called Brown's 
Schoolhouse until June 4, 1870, when by congregational action it was named 
Mount Pleasant. The initial site was two miles from Mayo's Crossroads, 
four miles from House Station, and four miles from Bell's Crossroads. One 
mile south of the Schoolhouse site the Mount Pleasant plant was erected in 
1870, and dedicated that year on June 5, Josephus Latham preaching the 
sermon. Its two-acre lot was given by John R. Brown, father-in-law of 
Latham, the resident founding pastor. Lewis J. Smith "was to superintend 
the building of the new Meeting House", and hire persons to keep the church 
house in order." Smith, (1826-1874), was warmly commended by pastor 
Latham, who said that "he was unanimously chosen deacon and I never knew 
a man who filled the office better." Their first officers: elders: John R. 
Brown, Wiley Stancil, W. H. Cobb; deacons: Lawrence Ward, Lewis J. Smith, 
James L. Smith, Fernando Ward. 

Mount Pleasant, reporting 49 members was enrolled by their Annual State 
Meeting on October 13, 1868. During its first 22 years its delegates to their 
State Conventions were: J. L. Smith, Lawrence Ward, W. H. Cobb, W. H. 
Stancill, Wiley Stancill, Louis A. Mayo, Sr., James A. Harris, Fernando 
Ward, J. Stancill, James Turnage, A. J. Outterbridge, T. Outterbridge. Their 
first clerks were: J. L. Smith, (1878); Louis A. Mayo, Sr., (1885); D. S, 
Spain, (1911). Their church property valuation in 1901, was $500; in 1930, 
$3,000. Latham served their pulpit for their first years, at the salary of $3 
per month. The congregation flourished and soon they numbered 109 mem- 
bers, having 47 family names as follows: 

Anderson, Bowman, Braddy, Briley, Brown, Bryant, Burrus, Butts, 
Cobb, Coggins, Cook, Craven, Cummings, Dennis, Dunn, Faithful, Fleming, 
Gorham, Griffin, Haddock, Harris, Hart, Hodges, Johnston, Jolly, Kit- 
trell, Knox, Latham, Lewis, May, Mayo, Morris, Owens, Patrick, Pollard, 
Privett, Proctor, Smith, Spain, Stancill, Stocks, Teel, Tyson, Wainwright,, 
Walston, Ward, Weaver. 

At the opening of their building only $40 was needed "to make up the 
deficiency", at which time $25.50 of that amount was contributed, leaving 
pastor Latham responsible for the remainder. An insight into their finances 
in a day when "a dollar looked as big as a cartwheel" is given in their original 
church record book as follows: 

August, 1876. The report of the financial condition of the Church for 
the past year showed there had been paid into the treasury, $55.42, while 
there had been paid out $54.25, leaving a balance due the church of $1.17. 
Sarah Hodges, colored, was again employed to keep the Church clean 
for the next year at $3.50, and J. J. Brown to furnish wood for the stove 
at $3.00. 

August, 1878. The expenses of the Church for the year ending today 
has been $55.88, and the income, $55.31, leaving the Church in debt 57 

( 58 ) 

Mount Pleasant had the first Woman's Missionary Society in this entire 
regional division of North Carolina Disciples. It was called Sisters' Mission, 
and when the six societies met in quarterly session with the Hookerton unit 
on January 26, 1878, Mount Pleasant's offering, $7.52, was exceeded only by 
that of Hookerton, the mother Society. Their cumulative funds were for 
evangelists to open new missions in the State. The five other Societies in 
the State at that time were: Salem, Riverside, Kinston, Hookerton, and 

Their first church school was organized on October 4, 1874. Its leaders: 
Wiley Stancill, superintendent; teachers: S. H. Spain, James L. Smith, Pattie 
Smith, M. F. Latham, Rebecca Brown. About its lapse, their correspondent, 
"Violet," reported on September 15, 1882: "At first it progressed hopefully 
but finally from unalterable circumstances all was gone. During the interval 
of its extinction its ennobling influence was sadly missed, and hopes of its 
reorganization were long cherished." It began again however on May 21, 
1882, and within three months enrolled 43, including 4 teachers. The new 
superintendents were: S. H. Spain and James L. Smith. "Violet" commented 
further: "For the advanced class we use the Lesson Guide; for the class of 
Wee Ones, the Union Primer. The Word and Work is also taken." 

R. W. Stancill, (June 5, 1854-Aug. 28, 1924), held their revival in 1882. It 
was his home; he had united with Disciples there, April 4, 1875. Their 
pastor in 1882 was J. L. Winfield, but for two years previously the flock had 
suffered for lack of a shepherd. Stancill exhorted: "I think Bro. Winfield 
by hard work you can get Mt. Pleasant back to what she once was." 

First to send an offering to the new Wilmington, N. C, church appealing then 
to get a basic start, was that of Mount Pleasant in July, 1908. Evangelist 
W. Graham Walker congratulated the church and its pastor, C. Manly Morton, 
for their premier gift "to this worthy cause." In August of that year, Walker 
held their revival with 5 additions. Agnes Spain was organist. Also at 
this time their church school was reorganized, with J. A. Teel, superin- 
tendent; Rosa Randolph, secretary; Daniel Jordan, treasurer. They had a 
Teacher Training Class. In 1911 their building was painted, and the church 
contributed $50 to furnish a room in the new Caldwell Hall at the College 
in Wilson. 

On August 1, 1943, the Diamond Anniversary of the Church was observed. 
During the 75 years, all charter members numbering 49 had passed away. 
However, of the 75 members on their roll of sixty years before, (1883), there 
were three survivors, namely: Mrs. Nannie E. Latham Quinerly, daughter 
of the founder; Mrs. Lucy Brown Worthington, and Mrs. Sadie Short Spruill. 
The first two gladdened the occasion by their presence; Mrs. Spruill was 
unable to attend. 

Membership at Mount Pleasant, (Pitt) is reportedly 200. 

Roll of Ministers at Mt. Pleasant, (Pitt). 

1868-1880.. Josephus Latham 1914,.. _/T. Hassell Bowen 

1881 Gideon Allen 1916-1918 J. E. Vause 

1882-1884 ...J. L. Winfield 1919 M. E. Sadler 

1885-1890 C. W. Howard 1920... M. B. Brinson 

1891 J. L. Burns 1921-1936 ...Warren A. Davis 

1901 J. T. Grubbs 1937-1941 W. I. Bennett 

1907, 1908 C. M. Morton 1942-1948 ... R. L. Topping 

1909-1913 H. H. Settle 1949,1950 E. Eugene Crook 

( 59 ) 


Seven miles north of Fairfield on State Highway 94 is Nazareth, first 
known as Kilkenny. Its village name is Warbler, (population, 75), which 
now has no postoffice but in 1925 was one of five such offices in Tyrrell 
County. Kilkenny Church with 25 members was enrolled by The North 
Carolina Christian Missionary Convention on October 26, 1893. In 1894 it 
gave 75 cents to help print the State Convention Minutes. It then disappeared 
from the roll until 1905 when it returned as Nazareth, reporting 34 members 
who paid $23. SS for preaching that year. In 1906, they gave $2 to Home and 
State Missions. Their first clerks: W. T. Dodge, (1893); I. Cahoon, (1905); 
L. C. Hudson, (1906); S. J. Brickhouse, (1908). Its church property valua- 
tion in 1930 was $1,000. 

J. J. Harper announced on June 6, 1889 that H. S. Davenport had recently 
held a revival with 6 additions at Kilkenny. Harper continued: "Bro. Dav- 
enport commenced preaching at that neglected and out-of-the-way place in 
1888, and thus far has gathered into the fold 25 souls." 

H. C. Bowen in November, 1904, reported directly from the field: "Kil- 
kenny is now opened up by bridge and road, and should be encouraged to 
build a house of suitable size. They now worship in a small schoolhouse." 
This was followed by the report of H. S. Davenport: "On June 4, 1905 I 
organized a church at Kilkenny, Tyrrell County, with 30 members. They are 
good workers and will build a house of worship." 

In September, 1925, it was affirmed: "Nazareth has a new building of her 
own. Her 65 members are the only church force in a large community." As 
the appointed Hyde Union missionary, Gustav Winter, held an eleven-days' 
evangeliizing "institute" at Nazareth in 1930. According to Winter: 

It attracted a full house every night. It soon developed into a young 
peoples' revival. Nine of the community's choicest youth, age 13 to 19, 
responded to the Gospel invitation. These were baptized in the deep and 
dangerous Alligator River at Kilkenny Landing. A few were unable to 
be baptized at this time owing to circumstances beyond our control. The 
church was left united and happy and ready to move forward. 

A news letter in September, 1932, said: "There is a new road now from 
Columbia to Nazareth, and the motorist may go the length in a half-hour. 
In bad weather it is said the only sticking place is near the residence of Joe 
Cahoon who keeps a truck to pull one out." 

Membership at Nazareth is reportedly 51. 

Roll of Ministers at Nazareth. 

1907-1916 __.H. S. Davenport 1928, 1929; 1946-1948-Roe L. Harris 

1917-1919; 1925-1930... S. Tyler Smith 1945 P. E. Cayton 

1920-1922; 1931-1943 W. P. Armstrong 


An isolated church in west-Hyde is New Lake. Reporting 26 members, 
W. J. Dunbar, clerk, it was enrolled by The North Carolina Christian Mis- 
sionary Convention, October 26, 1890. It gave 50 cents to help print the 
State Convention Minutes. In 1892 they pledged $2 to State Missions. Its 
first church school. 1892, enrolled 25, including 5 teachers, D. B. Squayers, 
superintendent; C. I. Squayers, secretary. Next year it enrolled 32, including 
6 teachers, C. J. Sawyer, superintendent; A. N. Dunbar, secretary. 

( 60 ) 

H. C. Bowen wrote from the held in November, 1904: "A zealous preacher 
could increase our strength at New Lake." J. B. Satterthwaite ministered 
there 21 years later, and stated: "I made a house-to-house canvass at New 
Lake in July and August 1925. I baptized some. I ordained one elder and 
one deacon, and organized a Ladies Aid Society, and I plan to organize a 
Bible School there, December 27, 1905, if possible." 

In August, 1928, it was reported: "Roe L. Harris, of Fairfield, recently 
held a fruitful revival at New Lake. He preached strong Gospel sermons 
to them driving his car over almost impossible roads through the boggy 

Membership at New Lake is reportedly 50. 

Roll of Ministers at New Lake. 

1S82-1884 D.H.Adams 1925-1927 ..J. B. Satterthwaite 

1907, 1912, 1914, 1920 H. S. Davenport 1929 Roe L. Harris 

1911, 1917-1919. 1923 S. Tyler Smith 1944-1948 - W. P. Armstrong 

1924 J. A. Mizell 


It is a thriving small town, (population, 251, in 1910; 574 in 1960), in 
northwestern Martin County. It is on State Highway 125, eight miles west 
of Hamilton, on the Kinston-Weldon branch of the A.C.L. Railway. In 1900 
its people numbered 117, and in 1906 it had the five stores: Harrell and Ross; 
Casper Bros.; Burnett and Jones; Johnson and Everett; and J. L. Hines. 

The Oak City Christian Church with 25 members, Thomas W. Davenport, 
clerk, was enrolled by The North Carolina Christian Missionary Convention, 
November 6, 1919. Pastor J. M. Perry, of Robersonville, was the founding 
minister, and at the beginning he was their second Sunday afternoon preach- 
er. On January 11, 1920, he said: "Two took membership with our newly 
organized congregation at Oak City." In 1921, C. B. Mashburn, held their 
revival from July 31 to August 11, resulting in 28 additions, more than 
doubling their membership. He concluded: "There is a splendid future to 
the work in Oak City. These are fine folks and zealous ones." 

Evangelist Ben M. Edwards followed next year, July 9-23, adding 34. Perry, 
was called to "pinch hit" in their pulpit as before. However, he announced: 
"This is temporary, as I hope to revive them with teaching of stewardship 
and stimulus to fellowship so they can have regular preaching." At Perry's 
revival there in 1937, there were 12 additions, and he remarked: "The church 
has grown numerically about 30 per cent within the year. Professor H. M. 
Ainsley and family have been a great influence for good. His training in 
old Phillippi Church fits him for religious leadership. The church surely 
has a future." 

In April, 1945. their correspondent said: "We are cooperating in the 
brotherhood's work; giving to our War Service fund, and to our Benevolent 
Homes; and we have given $10 to State Missions." In 1948 their church 
school reached average attendance of 93, attributed to "some excellent leaders 
among whom are H. M. Ainsley and Sidney Mallory." In 1950, "a beautiful 
communion table and four chairs" were provided. 

In December, 1952, three new church school rooms had been built and 
equipped, carpeting, and other improvements effected, costing $2,000. A fund 
was started for new pews. A new Hammond organ was installed, Mrs. Wil- 

( 61 ) 

Hani Mallory, organist. The Oak City-Hassell pastoral unity was set up 
June 12, 1955. Then the church school had "outgrown its building", and "a 
new educational building" was projected, Spencer Harrell, supervisor, the 
work to begin in November, 1956. 

in June, 1957, it was announced that this projected structure had been 
completed and would accommodate six classes. The cost was approximately 
$3,000. The church grounds were landscaped as planned by Jack Smith, ana 
additional land needed was acquired. The chairman of the building com- 
mittee was Sidney Mallory. 

A report in 1958 said: "The whole interior of the plant will soon be re- 
decorated." Their Daily Vacation Bible School was held June 8-13 that year 
with attendance of 88, H. M. Ainsley the efficient director. 

Membership at Oak City is reportedly 97. 

Roll of Ministers at Oak City. 

1919-1921. 1932, 1937 J. M. Perry 1938. 1939 W. I. Bennett 

1922 H. T. Bowen 1940 ... _. Ray G. Silverthorne 

1923 __W. T. Mattox 1942-1944 R. L. Topping 

1924 Paul T. Ricks 1945, 1946 L. D. Thomas 

1925, 1926 . . J. R. Tingle 1948 F. A. Lilley 

1928-1930 C. B. Mashburn 1949-1952 _ O. E. Fox 

1933 Ira W. Langston 1953-1956 H. C. Hilliard, Sr. 

1934 B. E. Taylor 1957 .. Roger Westmoreland 

1935 Selz Mayo 1958-1961.. Z. N. Deshields 


It is five miles south of Robersonville on State Highway 903. Near the 
headwaters of Tranters Creek, it is about 16 miles northeast of Greenville. 
With 14 members it was organized by Jeremiah Leggett on October 25, 1834. 
He was one of the first group of preachers of North Carolina Disciples of 
Christ led by General William Clark and Thomas J. Latham. The list of 
14 charter members appearing in their original church record book: 

Men: Henry Roberson, George Britton, Nathaniel Keel, Daniel Hill. 
Josiah Taylor, Thomas Roebuck, John Piercy, Richmond H. Terry; 
Women: Tilitha Keel, Achna Hill, Nancy Brown, Mary Terry, Judeah 
Britton, Pollyann Daniel. Tbeir first officers: elder and pastor, Jere- 
miah Leggett; clerk, Henry Roberson; deacons: George Britton, Nathan- 
iel Keel. 

Their first ministerial recruit, Henry Roberson, was cited for ordination 
to be conferred in November, 1836. All of this personnel was of the evolving 
Arminian fellowship escaping from Calvinistic creedal folds. After a clouded 
association for 14 years with Smithwicks Creek. Tranters Creek and some 
others, Oak Grove came to open affiliation with the Disciples in September, 
1848, when John A. Leggett, (1801-1868), son of Jeremiah, was moderator 
of their business session. Henry Roberson was asked to write the fellowship 
letter and Richmond H. Terry and Thomas Roebuck were the appointed dele- 
gates to present it at the Disciples Annual Meeting at Mill Creek, November 
2-5, 1848. Also it was "agreed that 75 cents should be sent for the purpose 
of paying for the Minutes." There Oak Grove, reporting 11 members, was 
duly enrolled with the Disciples, 113 years ago. Delegates for their first 41 
years in the Disciples' State Meetings were: Richmond H. Terry, Thomas 

( 62 ) 

Roebuck, Henry Taylor, N. J. Keel, Abram Congleton, Irvin N. Keel, W. A. 
Roberson, S. H. Taylor, J. J. Rawls, A. B. Congleton, J. R. Roberson, J. Turn- 
age, Theo. Keel, J. W. Page, W. M. Pearcy, E. L. Daniel, J. A. Britton. Their 
first clerks: Henry T. Brown, (1849) ; Irvin N. Keel, (1878) ; A. B. Congleton, 
(1887). Their church property valuation in 1901 was $550; in 1930, $2500. 

Another Oak Grove recruit to the ministry was Thomas Roebuck. In 
November, 1859, on motion it was agreed that he "Bee sit at liberty to exer- 
cise in the ministry wherein we trust he is cald and that he exercise freely 
at this plase and that he receive a surtificate to that EFECT, WHOME We 
commend to whomsoever it may come." 

A letter from J. R. Roberson, local correspondent, dated February 10, 1877, 
said: "Brother Joseph H. Foy will labor for us this year. We pay our 
preacher $5 a visit. We took up our yearly contribution, January 27, and 
raised $90; our treasury has never been empty. If there be any other calls 
old Oak Grove is always ready to battle for the Lord." 

Expenses of J. T. Walsh on his evangelizing tour in July, 1883, involving 
Oak Grove, were $11. To offset this he received altogether $14.55, of which 
$2.90 was from Oak Grove. He said: "I preached 9 discourses. The Oak 
Grove brethren are about to build a new house. They need it." The old 
building was dismantled after July 22, 1883, and shortly services were con- 
ducted in the unfinished new structure. Editorially J. L. Winfield described 
it: "The house is 30 X 40 feet and will comfortably seat 350. The interior 
will be plastered and ceiled; exterior will be painted white. The windows 
are seven feet high, protected by green blinds. It speaks well for the energy 
and taste of the building committee. It will be an elegant house when the 
painter's brush is applied. The work has been done chiefly by the members 
and without outside help." The dedication was on December 24, 1883, J. T. 
Walsh preaching the sermon, assisted in the services by H. D. Cason. 

A communication from pastor W. O. Winfield, stated: "On March 26, 1899, 
I preached at Oak Grove. This is a small church but a truer band of Dis- 
ciples it would be hard to find. While there I worked, talked and preached 
State Missions, and I think Oak Grove will raise their apportionment." At 
the passing of an outstanding layman, J. J. Rawls, (Sept. 23, 1829-Dec. 6, 
1900), evangelist J. L. Burns wrote this tribute: "He was always an active, 
zealous worker at Oak Grove and a friend and liberal supporter of State Mis- 
sions; at the last State Convention he gave $25 for the cause this present 
year." On March 23, 1902, pastor W. O. Winfield preached "an excellent 
missionary sermon," according to A. B. Congleton, Oak Grove clerk, and it 
was also planned by them to furnish a room in the new Atlantic Christian 

Nanna Crozier, able field executive for the Disciples' Womans Work, 
visited, and in a letter from Oakley, N. C, stated: 

1 met with Oak Grove church, June 25, 1905. In spite of a stormy 
day, a good audience was present. The one thing lacking here as in so 
many other places is young men and women who are willing to take up 
the burdens which the older ones have had to lay down. There are 
many Christian young people in our churches who have been richly 
blessed with many talents. Why are they not being used in the Master's 
service? The needs are so great and the opportunities are so abundant. 
There seems now to be no leader at Oak Grove, but I believe something- 
can be done there later." 

At their evening service, February 24, 1935, a C.E. Society with 28 mem- 
bers was organized; officers: president, Rachel Barnhill; vice president, 

( 63 ) 

William Parker; secretary and treasurer, Margaret Barnhill. On the follow- 
ing April 28, reroofing of their plant was planned, and the minister said: 
"We took our Home Missions offering today and it amounted to $4.27." 
Their officers ordained on May 23, 1937, were: elders: A. L. James, C. H. 
Gardner, T. F. Respess; deacons: Zeno James, David Wilson, Nathan Barn- 
hill, W. T. Kirkman, Sollie James. Shortly before this a Woman's Missionary 
Society of 27 members was organized to meet monthly. Their pastor said: 
"They are doing a fine work." He announced also: "Brother Kermit Traylor 
will begin our revival June 28, 1937. We are expecting a great meeting with 
this good man leading." 

Membership at Oak Grove is reportedly 75. 

Roll of Ministers at Oak Grove. 

1834 Jeremiah Leggett 1928 -.Paul T. Ricks 

1850 John A. Leggett 1929 H. T. Bowen 

1851 Henry Roberson 1930 J. T. Forrest 

1859, 1860 Stanley Ayers 1931-1934 Warren A. Davis 

1864 Josephus Latham 1935-1937 _ D. A. Hudson 

1877 Joseph H. Foy 1938, 1939 H. F. Brown 

1881-... Gideon Allen 1940-1946.... -D. W. Arnold 

1882, 1883 J. L. Winfield 1947 H. F. Speight, Jr. 

1889 Henry Winfield 1949-1951 .... J. J. Langston 

1909 W. O. Winfield 1953 John White 

1913-1927 C. W. Howard 


It is six miles north of Washington, on Federal Highway 17. A convenient 
crossing here in the encircling swamp in the long ago may have occasioned 
this pertinent name. The church was organized by Joseph D. Biggs and 
Jeremiah Leggett in 1828, and was nominally attached to the Kehukee Asso- 
ciation of Baptists. The next year it reported 20 members, which number 
had in 1833 declined to 10. Biggs said in 1834 that Leggett had "become 
enamoured with Arminian tenets, now too prevalent." John A. Leggett, 
(1801-1868), son of Jeremiah, represented Old Ford at the setting up of the 
Disciples' Union Meeting at Little Sister Meetinghouse, March 28-30, 1834. 
And Jeremiah, the father wrote the fellowship letter in behalf of the neigh- 
boring Smithwick's Creek Church to this initial Disciples' gathering of 1834. 
Membership of the Calvinists at Smithwick's had dwindled from 42 to 24 
in 1833; the Disciple contingent arising there probably transferred to nearby 
Old Ford. It was 1841 when Associational action of the Kehukee thus focused 
the transparent shift, as follows: "The name of the church at Old Ford 
meeting-house, Beaufort County, was stricken from the list of churches, 
because it had been regularly dissolved, and the members had united with 
the church at Smithwick's Creek." 

The work of the three Leggett evangelists, Jeremiah, John A., and Daniel 
at Old Ford was consistently aggressive and fruitful. When it joined con- 
ventionally with the Disciples, October 10, 1846, at their Vanceboro Annual 
Meeting, it reported 160 members, largest at that time of any church con- 
tinuing in the Disciples' Assembly. It gave outstanding support by yearly 
delegations, as the records show, to their State Convention. From 1846 to 
1889 their attending representatives were: Jesse Swanner, John A. Leggett. 

( 64 ) 

Kenneth Woolard, Henry C. Cherry, Louis H. Hodges, G. Leggett, W. S. 
Cherry, R. Stalling*, G. M. Swanner, H. Swanner, C. Padgett, J. H. Woolard, 
J. A. Perry, N. B. Hodges, R. T. Hodges, James W. Hodges, Josephus Latham, 
Whitman Leggett, F. B. Hodges, James Hodges, F. P. Hodges, E. T. Woolard, 
J. R. Hodges, J. D. Perry, N. T. Cherry, Uriah Leggett, W. H. Stancill, W. J. 
Crumpler, N. T. Perry. Their first clerks: B. F. Leggett, (1888); H. E. 
Hodges, (1889). Their first church school was in 1886, enrolling 106, in- 
cluding 6 teachers; W. H. Stancill, superintendent; Bertha Hodges, secre- 
tary. From 1853 onward it had monthly preaching. Their C.W.B.M. Auxil- 
iary in 1911 had 8 members; 3 subscribers to Missionary Tidings; and gave 
$12.20 that year to general and state funds. Their church property valuation 
in 1901 was $1,500; in 1930, $2,500. 

From September 30 to October 6, 1855, A. J. Battle and John M. Gurganus 
held their revival, adding 36. Battle said: "This proved to be a very interest- 
ing meeting not only in the number added to the church, but also in the 
great joy realized by members of the church generally." 

North Carolina Disciples held their first "State Sunday School Convention" 
at Old Ford, July 28, 29, 1882. There was a stimulating program, elaborate 
and constructive. With the local school pulling so consistently for associated 
brotherhood activities, Old Ford entertained the State Convention there 
October 25-28, 1888, as Oak Grove, Pitt County, had done the year before. A 
welcomed participant at the Old Ford Convention was the prominent Rich- 
mond, Va. editor and preacher, Isaac Jesse Spencer, (Nov. 10, 1851-March 2, 
1922). A brief of Spencer's report of it in his Missionary Weekly: 

The weather was excessively rainy but a large delegation was present. 
An example of zeal, one brother rode 75 miles in a buggy to the meeting. 
Eighty churches were represented and six new churches were received 
into the State Cooperation. In the N. C. missionary work a feature 
worthy of especial praise is the consummate business-like manner in 
which missionary matters are handled in the Convention. J. J. Harper 
presided. He is 47 years old, very level-headed, devout and highly 
esteemed. The Convention looks after the character of their ministers; 
for this purpose they have a standing committee of 7. They ousted an 
unworthy minister a year or two ago. 

When L. T. Rigthsell at Old Ford opened the Disciples' Carolina Institute 
as the first brotherhood-sponsored effort for higher education in the State, 
in September, 1892, he said: "Those students coming from abroad will find 
local friends here whose benefactions will be of permanent value to them." 

The Watch Tower editor, J. F. Coss, who visited on April 9, 1899, affirmed: 
"I spoke at Old Ford for an hour; the offering $14.31 for Foreign Missions; 
due preparation had been made by the pastor, J. R. Tingle." Dennis Wrighter 
Davis held their revival that year, September 10-20. The result, 63 addi- 
tions, was unprecedented. Davis said: "This meeting increases the mem- 
bership at Old Ford almost to 400. With such strength the congregation 
ought not to be content with only monthly services." Pastor J. R. Tingle 
gave the Foreign Missions message there on March 11, 1900. The offering 
gratified their leaders. Tingle said: "It speaks well for their missionary 
spirit. The church is in good working order. It is growing in spiritual 

Nanna Crozier, encouraged by pastor W. O. Winfield, spoke there on June 
11, 1905. She said: 

( 65 ) 

I tried to tell them of the great need of missionary work and what the 
C. W. B. M. is doing to meet that need. An Auxiliary was organized with 
7 members; officers: president, Mrs. D. W. Davis; secretary, Margaret 
B. Stancill; treasurer, Mrs. Ben Bishop. A fine, large Junior Society 
was also organized; Miss Stancill has charge of that. We feel that these 
two Societies are going to do splendid work for the Master. 

John M. Waters closing the revival there August 25, 1921, said: "I bap- 
tized 22 young men and women." In 1924 the church bought the "Ben Hodges 
place", consisting of 45 acres and an 8-room, two-story residence to be re- 
modeled into a parsonage. Six acres had been cleared. This desirable prop- 
erty cost the church $2200. 

On November 10, 1928, the church observed its centennial. The speakers 
were: C. B. Mashburn, John M. Waters, Warren A. Davis, J. W. Lollis, C. C. 
Ware, and the local financial secretary, Evan H. Willard. In 1931 there was 
extensive remodeling of their plant. At cost of $1000 with much manual 
aid contributed, it was veneered with 25,000 brick, leaving 35,000 brick on the 
yard for constructing their projected educational plant. Effective support 
in this overall improvement was given by their Ladies' Aid Scoiety, Mrs. 
McD. Gautier, president, and Mrs. Lillian Leggett, secretary. Mary Ella 
Cooper was pianist. Their church school then enrolled 250; F. S. Hodges, 
superintendent; Sam. Madkins, secretary. In 1939 eight adidtional class 
rooms were provided. 

Membership at Old Ford is reportedly 580. 

Roll of Ministers at Old Ford. 

1881-1883 Augustus Latham, Jr. 1919-1921 W. O. Winfield 

1884-1889 J. L. Winfield 1922-1929 J. W. Lollis 

1900... J. R. Tingle 1930-1932 W. I. Bennett 

1909-1913 ....Warren A. Davis 1933-1940- .Dennis Warren Davis 

1914 J. M. Waters 1941-1950 M. L. Ambrose 

1915-1918 J. M. Perry 


It is in the Winsteadville-Ransomville commuity in extreme east-Beau- 
fort County. It is located on the fishhook-shaped peninsula bounded north 
and south by the confluent Pungo-Pamlico waters. Its building formerly 
was a union chapel; later it has been acquired wholly for the Disciples. 
With 35 members it was enrolled by The North Carolina Christian Missionary 
Convention on November 2, 1901. 

In 1902 it reported 40 members who gave $21.75 for local purposes. The 
next year it gave $1 for State misisons, and $5 for preaching. Its first 
clerks: S. B. Wilkins, (1889); B. H. Hardison, (1901); B. D. Gallup, (1911); 
Mrs. Riley Hooten, (1928). Its church property valuation in 1902 was $500. 

Pastor H. S. Davenport reported in February, 1902: "I met my regular 
appointment at Pamlico Chapel on January 26, and was greeted with good 
audiences. My singing girls Mary A. Slade and Rillie Foster came out and 
sang with a will. Bro. Major Foster is one of the pillars there." Returning 
with Mrs. Davenport to his April appointment that year, he observed: "We 
made our home with Bro. and Sister Hardison. My singing girls were all 
there. I notice the boys are improving. Some of those boys may be Presi- 
dent, or Governor, or U. S. Senator, who knows?" 

( 66 ) 

In 1935, Warren A. Davis held their revival with 7 additions. T. M. Guthrie 
was correspondent; Delmar Sawyer was church school superintendent, and 
also president of the local C. E. Society having about 25 members. 

Membership at Pamlico Chapel is reportedly 25. 

Roll of Ministers at Pamlico Chapel. 

1882-1894 T. W. Whitley 1936-1941 F. A. Lilley 

1901-1910 H. S. Davenport 1942 Daniel Hardison 

1911-1914 Thomas Green 1946 ..R. L. Topping 

1924 ....J. A. Mizell 194S ..H. F. Speight, Jr. 


Twenty-six miles east of Washington on Federal Highway 264 is Pantego, 
(population, 262 in 1960). The village was in Hyde until 1819, when its area 
eastward to Leechville was annexed to Beaufort County. To-day descend- 
ants of old families largely populate the section. Of the 13 Winfield families 
in the State in 1790, 11 were in Hyde; of the 12 Windleys, 10 were in Hyde; 
of the 12 Lathams, 8 were in Hyde and Beaufort. The hamlet counted 200 
persons in 1880, and was incorporated as Pantego in 1881. It then had nine 
stores, two saw mills, an academy, two physicians, three blacksmiths, a 
cooper, and a saddle and harness man. Thomas J. Latham, preacher, was 
the postmaster there, 1834 to 1839, his "annual compensation" rising from 
$22.09 to $30.24, evidence that communications were greatening in this Pan- 
tego Creek metropolis. 

Pungo Chapel, (site, nine miles southeast), was the mother church of Pan- 
tego Disciples. It was the direct inheritor of the Arminian Baptist Separa- 
tism of the first John Winfield, thereby becoming the home of Elders Henry 
Smith and Samuel L. Davis, zealous evangelist-pioneers of North Carolina's 
Nineteenth Century Disciples. It was inactive on the roll of the Kehukee 
Association in 1811 with 16 members, not going along with that compact's 
distinctive creedalism. In 1829 it had enlisted with the Bethel conference, 
at whose merger with the Disciples, May 2, 1845, it reported a local mem- 
bership of 82. Its first officers: pastor and presiding elder, Thomas J. La- 
tham; assistant elders: William Davis, Sr., Jesse Winfield; deacon, Henry 
Satterthwaite. Its lay delegates at their State's Annual Conferences: Wil- 
liam Davis, Sr., (1844); and Laban Wilkinson and Jesse Winfield, (1846). 

The church continued until November 28, 1897, when, with only 19 members, 
because of "unpropitious prospects" it disbanded to have their "names en- 
rolled with some Disciple congregation that we each one may prefer." 

To be provided with "a church more convenient to their several places of 
residence," 36 members of Pungo Chapel, two of whom were slaves, withdrew 
to organize the Christian Church at Pantego on October 2, 1S30. It was 
named Concord until 1879. Its old Minute Book beginning 131 years ago is 
a superb example of the old-time readable penmanship. First officers at 
Pantego: presiding elder, Henry Smith; assistant elders: John Carrow, Sr., 
James B. Adams; deacon, Ephraim Ratcliff. First clerks: Thomas J. Latham. 
(1830); Samuel Windley, (1838); Jordan Wilkinson, (1878); H. W. John- 
son, (1891). Their 36 charter members in 1830, were: 

Men: James B. Adams, John Carrow, Sr., John Carrow, Jr., Marquis 
Carrow, Davis Johnson, Thomas J. Latham, William Latham, Ephraim 
Ratcliff, John Smith, John Whitley, Shadrack Wilkinson. Wiley Wilkin- 
son; Slaves: Christman, Gideon. 

( 67 ) 

Women: Sophia Adams, Elizabeth Carrow, Mary Carrow, Polly Eborn, 
Nancy Ellis, Lucilla Johnson, Lucretia Johnson, Sarah Jones, Elizabeth 
Latham, Mary Ann Latham, Nancy Latham, Henrietta Palmer, Mary 
Rateliff, Elizabeth Saunders, Ann Smith, Delilah Smith, Elizabeth 
Smith, Susan Smith, Patience Wilkinson, Elizabeth Windley, Margaret 
Windley, Miriam Whitley. 

Pantego's delegates in their State's Annual Meetings, were: 

Ephraim Rateliff, Josephus Latham, Samuel T. Carrow, D. L. Burgess, 
Samuel Windley, L. Windley, J. Whitley, T. J. Latham, Jr., James Smith, 
James W. Gaylord, Augustus Latham, W. L. Latham, William F. Flynn, 
W. G. Sawyer, John Windley, P. H. Johnson, Sr., G. F. Flynn, J. F. 
Latham, J. H. Johnston, W. Muse, J. C. Ricks, W. J. Crumpler, R. F. 
Shavender, Jordan Wilkinson, B. B. Wilkinson, James H. Jarvis, D. B. 
Wilkinson, George L. Wilkinson, Thomas Flynn, G. T. Tyson, George 
Joyner, L. McGower, J. Edward Gherkin. 

Its first site, 1830 to 1844, was in the fringe of the village near Primitive 
Baptist Elder Daniel Topping's later residence. Removed a short distance, 
from 1844 to 1876, it was at the bend of Federal 264, in the eastern outskirts 
of Pantego. Again it was moved to its present location which it has retained 
for the past 85 years. In 1846 after its formal merger with the Disciples, 
its membership was reduced to 111, when 31 had withdrawn to found a local 
F.W.B. church, Joseph D. Satchwell, clerk, This was in opposition to 
Latham's fatherly course of Christian union with the growing Disciple move- 
ment. The local Disciples' officiary in 1848: elders: John Smith, James W. 
Gaylord, James Windley; deacons: Jesse Windley, William A. Eborn. Its 
C.W.B.M. in 1911 reported 19 members; 10 subscribers to Missionary Tidings; 
offerings $80.60 to general and state funds. Its first church school, (1885), 
enrolled 35, including 3 teachers; M. J. Whitley superintendent. Next year 
it increased to 83, including 4 teachers. Its plant which in part serves to- 
day was dedicated by pastor John R. Winfield on September 3, 1876. Its 
property valuation in 1901 was $1400; in 1930, $3,000. 

Through the long years the church has been blessed with many revivals. 
The community has its share of the poor. However It is generally known 
that the Lathams, the Swindells, and the Wilkinsons, rose to a place among 
topflight planters of North Carolina in productive resources as well as farm- 
ing acumen. Yet when pastor H. H. Moore, of Greenville, N. C, held the 
Pantego meeting in August, 1905, with 21 additions, he found many of the 
"very poor" there and italicized the phrase in his report. However with 
gratification he said: 

We had a rousing good meeting. I made 61 pastoral visits, often going 
into homes where a preacher had never been. I do not think we strengthen- 
ed the church financially, but the angels rejoiced and recruits were 
added to the Kingdom. I have a hobbby, it is preaching the Gospel to the 
poor, the outcast, and the forsaken. I have compassion for the under- 
dog. The dear people at Greenville have been very kind, letting me 
get away to hold the Pantego meeting; not unusual for Greenville; they 
are always doing something nice for the preacher and his wife. 

In 1931, pastor D. Guy Saunders led their revival with 29 additions. After 
five years of resident ministry there, he said: "We believe these good folk to 
be the equal of any group of Christians anywhere." In 1936 their Ladies 
Aid Society, Mrs. Leon H. Johnson, president, helped their parsonage fund 
$500; bought new pews for the church, costing $1,000; and landscaped the 
grounds with beautiful shrubbery. On March 16, 1937, pastor Joseph A. 

( 68 ) 

Saunders' family moved into the new parsonage. He said: "We are proud 
of both the house and of the people who builded so loyally." After actual 
completion it was dedicated on June 17, 1945. Planned then were new church 
school rooms, and social hall. The two-story building provides long-needed 
utilities in six class rooms adapted to various departments, and a large up- 
stairs fellowship room equipped with kitchenette. C. W. Riggs, state evan- 
gelist, in 1946 led in assembling pledges totaling $41.10 per week, preparatory 
to a more adequate pastorate. 

In 1949 David A. Windley was elected honorary elder for life. New Church 
trustees appointed, were: Carl Windley, Claude Ricks, P. H. Johnson, Sr. ; the 
building committee: Leon H. Johnson, Chester C. Windley, Robert Benson. 
In 1950, pastor C. F. Outlaw's generous family presented to the church a 
baptistry which was dedicated on Easter Sunday; a painting contributed 
by Perry Case adorned this equipment. 

In 1955, the Men's Class, Joseph A. Windley, teacher, also principal of 
Pantego High School, painted the exterior of the church and installed a new 
furnace and new lights. The women worked toward completing the fellow- 
ship hall, also in supplying the sanctuary with a new carpet, half of the 
cost of which was a gift from Mrs. B. G. Carowan. 

In 1957 the plant was reroofed, the educational building repainted, and an 
outside bulletin board erected. Officers of the church board: chairman, 
Joseph A. Windley; secretary, C. L. Ricks; treasurer, William Daw; assist- 
ant treasurer, Vernon Canady. 

Ministerial recruits from this church have been: Thomas J. Latham, Jo- 
sephus Latham, M. F. Jarvis, Hilton Windley, R. Worden Allen. 

Membership at Pantego is reportedly 230. 

Roll of Ministers at Pantego. 

1830-1838 ...Henry Smith 1926,1927- W. T. Mattox 

1839-1855 Thomas J. Latham 1928-1934 D. G. Saunders 

1856-1873, 1875-1880, John R. Winfield 1935-1941 J. A. Saunders 

1874 _ Augustus Latham, Jr. 1942, 1943 Z. N. Deshields 

1881-1884.. - George Joyner 1944 Allen Wilson 

1885-1887 J. L. Winfield 1945-1948 J. W. Lollis 

1888, 1889 D. W. Davis 1949 C. F. Outlaw 

1904-1908 W. O. Winfield 1950, 1952 W. J. Waters 

1911-1913 J. W. Tyndall 1951 H. Edgar Harden 

1914, 1921 W. O. Winfield 1953-1956 ....J. D. Waters 

1915 J. M. Perry 1957, 1958 Roland Jones 

1916-1920; 1923-1925 ..... C. W. Howard 1959-1961 H. L. Tyer 

1922... _. F. F. Grim 


This is a large rural church in Washington County. It is in Cherry, a 
few miles south of Creswell. Incorporated in 1907, Cherry has not fared 
well in the census. Its population in 1910 was 76; in 1960, it had receded to 
61. Cherry in 1906 took pride in its seven teachers of its excellent local 
school; these were: H. M. Ainsley, S. F. Burgess, A. W. Davenport, Stuart 
R. Davenport, L. J. Spear, W. C. Spruill, and Samuel Woodley. 

A revival in 1878 added 40 members to Phillippi bringing its total member- 
ship to 95 when it was enrolled on October 8, that year, by the Annual Meet- 

( 69 ) 

ing oi' the State's Disciples. However its membership dropped to 47 the 
next year due to a meticulous revision of its roll. Representing them in 
their State Conventions, were: J. J. Woodley, J. S. Phelps, C. N. Mason, D. S. 
Phelps. Their first clerks: C. N. Mason, (1878); S. W. Woodley, (1887); 
Charles Ainsley, (1889); Henry Phelps, (1902). Their first church school, 
1890, enrolled 54, including 4 teachers; superintendent, Daniel Phelps; secre- 
tary, Stuart R. Davenport. Their C.W.B.M. in 1909 reported 31 members, 
largest in the State except Kinston. Their church property valuation in 1901 
was $400; in 1930, $5,000. 

Evangelist H. S. Davenport, as a field agent for The Watch Tower, told 
this about Phillippi: 

I arrived at Bro. Daniel Phelps' March 6, 1883. A little band of devoted 
Disciples came out to hear me. Next night they turned out with consid- 
erable additions. The church sent greetings to Holly Neck and desired 
her cooperation. On my return 1 stopped overnight with Bro. R. H. 

In the same month, J. L. Winneld stated editorially that the Phillippi 
group of churches had "been in a muddle for the last four months." Where- 
upon he and J. B. Parsons made them a "healing touch" visit, Winfield 
prudently reported: 

Phillippi has a large membership. Bro. J. J. Woodley, the temperance 
advocate is a member. He is a warm friend and ardent supporter of our 
cooperative system; and one of the most liberal we have met for his 
ability. The Woodleys, Phelps, Burgesses and a host of others are a 
power in that section and we hope they will work unitedly. 

Evangelist Davenport writing again in February, 1884, said: "Phillippi 
is not in a prosperous condition and the brethren desire Bro. Josephus Latham 
to visit them at an early day. We need a weekly paper and must have it. 
There are some among us who are not of us and these must be reclaimed." 
But next month he resumed cheerfully: "Phillippi is coming to life. She 
has a bell and is turning out large and attentive audiences. Bro. J. J. Wood- 
ley, I believe preaches for the church." 

Pastor Thomas Green preached there on December 16, 1900, and related: 
"Attention was called to the importance of State Missions and pledges to 
the amount of $10 were quickly obtained. I hope all our preachers will keep 
State Missions before their congregations." 

H. S. Davenport, the beloved "Old Reliable", held their revival in October. 
1901. "H. M. Ainsley," he said, "proved himself a good organist and a most 
exemplary Christian. I trust that in love and good works Phillip! may soon 
outstrip her namesake of Apostolic days." The following August, he said: 
"Phillipi has about raised the funds to furnish a room at Atlantic Christian 
College. Several of our young people say they are going there to school. 
Every Disciple should respond to Bro. J. J. Harper's suggestion in reference 
to the Wilson school." 

During the three-year's resident pastorate of I. W. Rogers with the Phillippi 
group, he succeeded according to H. C. Bowen, "in getting Phillippi to build 
a splendid house." It was dedicated at a fifth-Sunday meeting of the Roanoke 
Union in July, 1910. 

In August, 1925, Lawson Campbell, of Winston-Salem, held their revival 
with 48 additions. An adjunctive building to the rear of their plant in 1931. 
provided four class rooms, each 14 X 18 feet. Warren A. Davis evangelizing 

( 70 ) 

there in 1932 received 63 additions. At that time the group's parsonage at 
Creswell on Federal 64, well built and well equipped, was occupied. L. B. 
Bennett, group pastor in 1942, reported: "There is now a Missionary Society 
in every church of this group." 

Stars on their War Service Flag in July, 1943, were for the following 27 
men : 

Harold S. Woodley, Louis 0. Davenport, David W. Gibbs, Carlton G. 
Spruill, W. T. Phelps, Jr., Herman Louis Myers, Dallas J. Spruill, Doug- 
las W. Davenport, Lyle Woodley, William H. Swain, Robert C. Spring. 
Leroy Phelps, Thomas Ambrose, Jr., Louis Spear, Franklin Spear, Allen 
Spear, Bailey Phelps, Jr., Arley Phelps, Carroll Van Davenport, Lester 
Phelps, Jewell Davenport, Troy Snell, Ralph Davenport, Jesse Phelps. 
Hubert L. Phelps, Thomas Spruill, William L. Spruill. 
Membership at Phillippi is reportedly 400. 

Roll of Ministers at Phillippi. 

1882 A. C. Wentz 1925, 1926 S. Tyler Smith 

1883 J. B. Parsons 1924 W. L. Straub 

1889 .....Dennis Wrighter Davis 1925 John R. Smith 

1900, 1901 Thomas Green 1927, 1928 J. J. Langston 

1902-1904 H. S. Davenport 1929-1937 R. O. Respess 

1911-1913; 1916-1920; 1938-1943 L. B. Bennett 

1922 Warren A. Davis 1944, 1945 Perry F. Baldwin 

1914 _ W. O. Winfield 1946 ......Lloyd Crowe 

1915 _ ..J. C. Coggins 1947-1950 G. C. Bland 

1921 J. W. Lollis 


More than a half-century ago, Pinetown was a thriving trade and travel 
center in Beaufort County on the Norfolk Southern Railroad. By highway 
it is about 19 miles northeast of Washington on a short spur from State 32. 
It had one tradesman there in 1896, Surry Parker. Its magical rise accounted 
for its municipal incorporation in 1907; the population which was 412, in 
1910, declining to 215 in 1960. Disciples there numbered 24 when enrolled 
as a church by The North Carolina Christian Missionary Convention, on 
October 31, 1907. In that year Pinetown paid $60 for "one-eighth time" 
preaching; gave $437.65 for all local purposes; and to State Missions $1. 
Their first clerks: L. R. Cutler, (1907); F. L. Morris, (1911); C. E. Jefferson, 
(1916). Their first church school, 1915, enrolled 100; Fred Beaman, super- 
intendent. Its plant had seating capacity of 300 in 1911; value $600; in 
1930 its valuation was $1,000. 

G. A. Reynolds, state evangelist, labored in a revival there, September 
7-11, 1904, preaching in the Town Hall. He said: "We found the Hall to 
be a very desirable place after we had put in some lamps to light it. There 
were 20 Disciples living in the town. These were all visited and their names 
enrolled as charter members. They decided to meet every Spnday forenoon 
for Sunday School and worship." 

Revivalist John W. Tyndall closed a service there June 10, 1910, receiving 
46 new members. At this time of resurgence they began and completed a 
building of their own in twelve days and dedicated it immediately at the 
finish debt-free. H. C. Bowen called this "a remarkable record." In passing 
this pulsing community the next month, Bowen remarked: "We saw from 

( 71 ) 

the outside the church which was built in a few days at Pinetown. It is a 
shapely, roomy building, which speaks well for the zeal and enterprise of 
Bro. J. W. Tyndall and others who had a part in this great triumph." 
He considered that Pinetown and neighboring successes at this time made 
Belhaven the Disciples' "storm center of Evangelism." 

In January. 1946, the plant at Pinetown had been removed to a new lot, a 
new front installed, concrete steps and walks laid, and planned landscaping 
had been started. New church school rooms were designed, the construction 
to begin as soon as sufficient labor was available. 

Membership at Pinetown is reportedly 150. 

Roll of Ministers at Pinetown. 

1911-1913 J. T. Saunders 193G. 1937- .Malcolm Penney 

1914-. _S. Lee Sadler 193S, 1939 D. W. Arnold 

1915-1919 D. F. Tyndall 1940-1945 ._M. L. Ambrose 

1920-1922 J. R. Lee 1946 _ L. D. Thomas 

1923 T. W. Bowen 1947, 1948, 1951, 1952..... R, H. Walker 

1924-1932 C. E. Lee 1949, 1950 Dennis Warren Davis 


This rural church is in east Hyde County. It was enrolled October 26, 
1905, with 41 members, by The North Carolina Christian Missionary Conven- 
tion. The church had paid that year $20 for preaching. Thirty additions in 
1907 swelled their membership to 73, paying that year for local church pur- 
poses, $109.25, and to State Missions, $5. Their first clerks: C. B. Williams, 
(1905); S. T. Pledger, (1907); J. M. Sawyer, (1908); W. P. Armstrong, 
(1910). Their church school in 1915 enrolled 28, W. B. Sawyer, superin- 
tendent. Seating capacity of their plant was 150, valued at $300 in 1907; 
in 1930 its valuation was $500. 

H. C. Bowen in company with H. S. Davenport visited the Hyde churches 
in November, 1904. Bowen reported: 

Pleasant Grove is in the schoolhouse period; a house of worship should 
be built here in this long-neglected part of the County. They are pre- 
paring to build and the whole County should rally to their assistance 
and help to house them in time for a great meeting sometime next year. 

H. S. Davenport preaching there at his regular time November 27, 1904, 
observed: "Pleasant Grove will begin work on their house after Christmas. 
If everyone will do something they will be able to occupy it by spring." 

The Hyde Union met at Engelhard December 30, 1935. At this gathering 
pastor W. P. Armstrong announced "the start of a strong Woman's Missionary 
Society at Pleasant Grove." 

Membership at Pleasant Grove is reportedly 130. 

Roll of Ministers at Pleasant Grove. 

1904-1910 H. S. Davenport 1925, 1926 J. L. Green 

1911-1913 T. Yarborough 1927 S. Tyler Smith 

1916-1918 W. H. Marler 1930 G. Winter 

1921-1924; 1928, 1929, 

1932-1950 W. P. Armstrong 

( 72 ) 


This city, (population, 4666, in 1960), is the Washington County seat. It 
is old and historic. A "post-town" in the new Republic of the eighteenth 
century, it was incorporated in 1807. Its postmasters, W. A. Turner, and 
William A. Hardison, each drew "annual compensation" less than $300 in 
the 1830's. With contemporary Halifax, Tarboro, and Greenville this com- 
pared favorably. A gazetteer of 1845 locates Plymouth 162 miles from 
Raleigh, "situated on the south side of Roanoke River 8 miles from its 
entrance into Albemarle Sound." Further: "It contains a courthouse, jail, 
one church, and 778 inhabitants." 

Plymouth Disciples of Christ organized as a church by B. H. Melton on 
April 18, 1897, were enrolled by The North Carolina Christian Missionary 
Convention on the following October 28, with 70 members. Their first clerks: 
R. M. Bateman, (1897); Arthur W. Swain, (1901); Foy Gurganus, (1902); 
M. G. Darden, (1910). In 1897 they paid for preaching, $90; for State Mis- 
sions, $1, increased to $6 in 1898, and $12.80 in 1899. Their first church 
school organized April 25, 1897, enrolled 94, including 7 teachers; A. N. 
Waters, superintendent; Connie Waters, secretary and treasurer; Vonnie 
Leggett, organist. It met in the Courthouse. Their Ladies' Aid Society 
organized in December, 1896, with 20 members, raised half of the salary of 
J. J. Harper, their forthcoming pastor, and had it in cash reserved for his 
beginning there. Melton said of these women: "With their union of head 
and heart which prevails, they will surely be a power for good." Their 
church property valuation in 1897 was $1500; in 1930, $10,000. 

An early preacher of the Disciples in Plymouth was A. J. Battle. Recount- 
ing his experience there in September, 1855, he stated: 

Owing to the strong prejudices excited against me on account of the 
revision of the Scriptures by the Bible Union toward which I was known 
to be friendly, I could get but a small congregation to hear me until the 
last Lord's Day when I had a large turn out of the citizens when I laid 
before them the true principles of the gospel of Christ. I only baptized 
one person there. 

Eighteen years later, Mrs. Levi S. Jackson, "a Disciple indeed," wife of a 
local merchant, lived there. The Jacksons entertained J. L. Winfield, evan- 
gelist who visited "that little flock of Disciples" in April, 1873. He wrote: 

The Baptists kindly offered us their house of worship, and we preached 
once to a very large and attentive audience. We have no house to wor- 
ship in, but the band meets in the Court House for communion. Bro. 
Joe Grey Gurganus preaches for them monthly. He is a terror to party- 
ism, and is working successfully in that place. 

More protracted was the service of H. S. Davenport, accompanied by J. F. 
Sumrell, July 14-24, 1892. Said Sumrell: 

The people at Plymouth were not attentive at first, but audiences in- 
creased until we had very large crowds. The Methodists were very 
kind to us. We had four confessions and baptisms, organized a mission 
point, and arranged for Bro. Davenport to preach for them monthly. The 
meeting was held in the old schoolhouse back of Peel's buggy shop. 

The first officers chosen were Nelson Waters, John Stillman and Frank 
Crary. Others among these earliest members were: Mrs. Nelson Waters and 
her two daughters, Connie and Pearl, Mrs. Lena J. Stillman, Emma Gurkin. 

( 73 ) 

Mary Smith, Mrs. Alice Avers, Mrs. Matilda Bunch, Mrs. John Stocks, and 
Mrs. Blount. Mrs. Stocks had lived in Plymouth since shortly after 1865, 
having been a Disciple at her old home in Lenoir County, near Kinston. She 
and Mrs. Bunch had been members at Christian Hope. 

Dennis Wrighter Davis held a meeting in the old schoolhouse in 1893. This 
encouraged the local mission. A significant move toward permanence was 
the preliminary survey made by B. H. Melton, state secretary, in February, 
1897. He reported: 

We spent one week at Plymouth. In the town there are about fifteen 
Disciples. They are poor, financially, but rich spiritually, having given 
themselves unto the Lord. The most desirable lot for a church in Ply- 
mouth has been bought by the Disciples and every dollar of indebtedness 
paid. Our meeting will begin on March 28, 1897. The field has been 
thoroughly studied. We feel confident of success. The desire is to make 
the work permanent. 

There were 40 additions in this meeting. April 18, 1897 was set apart to 
raise funds for erecting a church plant. The building committee: F. M. 
Davenport, Nelson Waters, S. F. Freeman and Richard Bateman. Freeman 
and Surry Parker promoted the attendance of about 500 people from the 
Pinetown section, for that building fund Sunday, by running a log-train 
excursion. This brought the multitude, which massing on the vacant church 
lot, lent enthusiasm to the occasion. The lot on the corner of Main and 
Washington Streets had been bought from J. E. Blount, for $300 on November 
13, 1895. The State Missionary service helped to sustain the Plymouth pastor 
from 1893 until 1905. 

On August 25, 1898, it was reported: "The church building at Plymouth, 
after a long hard pull, is now completed except the pews, which will be 
ready by September 5th." In October, 1899, pastor M. S. Spear said: "The 
building is situated on the most prominent corner in this beautiful little 
city. We have some noble men and women who are willing to do almost 
anything in their reach for its success. Our future is promising." 

There was a long campaign for clearing the building debt. J. Walter 
Reynolds was pastor in May, 1901, when he appealed: "You have a four 
thousand dollar investment here doing business for the Lord, and only a 
few hundred dollars in debt. The paying of four hundred dollars now means 
the saving of four thousand." These vigorous words brought support and 
evidently augmented local morale, as Arthur W. Swain, a Plymouth layman, 
said that year: "We have a splendid Lord's Day School. The best in towu. 
We also have a good prayer meeting and we think it will not be very long 
before we will be a self-supporting congregation." Reynolds enthusiastically 
announced the debt-free dedication day for October 19, 1902. A report said: 
"Heaven seemed to smile with all its resplendent glory, and the hearts of 
the people who have labored so faithfully, were full of joy and thanksgiving 
for the arrival of the glad day." 

Shortly after the dedication, Reynolds closed his Plymouth ministry and 
dark days came for the church. It is said: "During this period the church 
came near to being disorganized entirely. Peter Swain, a resident of Wash- 
ington County, came to the rescue. He preached for such a sum as the 
people could pay." 

Preceding Swain the church had suffered the precarious ministry of Claris 
Yeuell, who was far from his native home, confused, and insecure. In 1903, 
he wrote: 

( 74 ) 

I am seriously contemplating the relinquishing of this work. By July 
I will have given Plymouth four months of my time. I found the con- 
gregation practically disbanded. I cannot get the church properly to- 
gether to plan and provide for the work. I feel that I am doing them no 
particular good. I have some reputation of my own of which I am jealous. 
I cannot afford to lose it here. 

Xanna Crozier, a national field secretary of the Disciples' Woman's Work, 
visited Plymouth, May 26, 1905. She commented: "I found the work in low 
condition here owing to their having no minister. It did not seem best to 
organize at present. I spoke at Sunday School and again in the evening. 
The attendance was good." In September of that year, however, a pastor, 
R. L. Philpott, had located, who insisted: "We have good workers in this 
Plymouth congregation. All we need now is to work together. We can't 
obtain anything of any worth by separation." 

Many evangelists have served this responsive field. Among these may be 
mentioned: J. H. Bristor, Ellis B. Barnes, George Primrose Taubman, G. A. 
Reynolds, J. J. Taylor, J. Boyd Jones. 

In 1924, 45 baptisms accrued to the Disciples from the Interdenominational 
Leaman-Coston revival. In February, 1926, a local bank closing impounded 
$500 of their funds. In 1930 a C. E. Society of 50 members was organized, 
Dot Greer, president. Mrs. George W. Bowen was then president of their 
C.W.F. Judge John W. Darden of the Washington County Recorder's Court, 
was church school superintendent. Their official board had four elders and 
seven deacons. In June, 1934, C. B. Mashburn held their meeting prepara- 
tory to location of their new pastor, Cecil A. Jarman. In June, 1936, pastor 
Nixon A. Taylor reported: "We are planning to build a plant to provide us 
with 12 or more class rooms, and have it ready within a few months." In 
consultation with A. F. Wickes, national Brotherhood architect, it was de- 
cided to construct a two-story building, providing a social hall, seating 200. 
and facility of eight class rooms. Foundations of it were laid in March, 1937, 
and opened for service in the following July. Conservatively built at cost of 
$3200, it was dedicated November 6, 1938, C. C. Ware preaching the sermon. 
Teaching staff for their church school included: Mrs. Randolph Beasley, Mrs. 
George W. Bowen, W. L. Whitley, Nixon A. Taylor, W. C. Chesson, Mrs. 
Wenona White, and Frances Swindell. 

On November 15, 1942, a Hammond organ costing $1,000 was installed. The 
next year $1200 went into plant repairs inducing "many favorable comments 
regarding our building." There was substantial increase in brotherhood 
missionary giving. A $10,000 parsonage was planned. On their World War 
II Service Flag were stars for 65 men. 

The ground-breaking for the parsonage was on June 17, 1945, the fund in 
hand having grown to $5,411.82. Mr. and Mrs. H. E. Harrison had contributed 
the lot at 11 Brinkley Ave., on September 11, 1944. In a war-time stringency, 
pastor E. B. Quick had ranged aggressively far and wide to procure the 
building materials. It was dedicated November 17, 1946, pastor John L. 
Goff, of Williamston bringing the address. 

Joseph D. Waters held their revival in 1948, adding 49. Their C.M.F. 
assumed with zest the goal of $1,500 for the Camp Caroline construction in 
1953 thus radiating vital encouragement to other groups toward overall 
enabling support. In all, Plymouth actually gave $2,250 to this cause by 
June 30, 1954. 

A lot 150 X 400 feet, and free of debt had been acquired in March, 1954, in 
a highly desirable location. This was for their new envisioned $250,000 plant. 

( 75 ) 

The old building was sold, the transference to be within a year. Construction 
on the new plant began March 15. 1955, with hope of completion by the fol- 
lowing February. The cornerstone was laid November 6, and the first unit 
opened for worship December 4, 1955. Much free labor was contributed, 
saving the church thousands of dollars. Serving as building committee were: 
C. O. Kelly, Russell Owens, Wesley Hardison, Robert E. Bowen, Hilary Liver- 
man. The new sanctuary was first in use on February 12, 1956. Dedication 
followed on October 26, 1958, Ross J. Allen, state secretary, the guest speaker. 

On February 23, 1959, M. G. Darden, a devoted member for 60 years at 
Plymouth, First Christian, passed away. The bulk of his estate was left to 
his church. It was announced in October, 1960, that Nancye Weddle, of At- 
lantic Christian College had been called by Plymouth as Youth Director. A 
new parsonage was erected. 

February 19, 1961, "was a day of high spiritual experience and great re- 
joicing. It was the Day of Decision." Sixty-eight persons at one service 
there united by primary obedience and statement with the church. A voice 
of experience said: "The interest has never been higher and conditions finer." 

Membership at Plymouth is reportedly 666. 

Roll of Ministers at Plymouth. 

1873 J. G. Gurganus 1915-1918 J. C. Coggins 

1884 H. S. Gurganus 1919, 1920 W. H. Marler 

1892 H. S. Davenport 1921 J. A. Taylor 

1893 D. W. Davis 1922 R. W. Stancill 

1894-1897 — -J. J. Harper 1923 R. A. Phillips 

1898 J. B. Greenwade 1924 J. W. Humphreys 

1899, 1900 „__M. S. Spear 1925, 1926 W. J. B. Burrus 

1901, 1902 J. W. Reynolds 1927-1929 W. E. Norris 

1903 Claris Yeuell 1930-1932 W. C. Greer 

1904 P. S. Swain 1933, 1934 C. A. Jarman 

1905 .... R. A. Smith 1935-1939 N. A. Taylor 

1906 R. L. Philpott 1940, 1941 G. A. Hamlin 

1907 J. R. Smith 1942, 1943 B. E .Taylor 

1908 J. R. Tingle 1944-1947 E. B. Quick 

1909 W. O. Winfield 1948-1950 J. D. Waters 

1910 ... C. E. Lee 1951-1957 C. N. Barnette 

1911-1913 Warren A. Davis 1958-1961 ..._C. B. Brooks 

1914 L. C. Carawan 


This church is but a few miles south of Jamesville. With 32 members it 
was enrolled by the Annual Meeting of the State's Disciples on October 13, 
1867. It was called Poplar Run until 1873 when it assumed its present name. 
In 1868 it had grown to 35 members who sent $2 to help in printing their 
annual State Convention Minutes. Their delegates to their yearly State 
Meetings, were: S. H. Davis, J. E. Mizell, W. C. Mizell, Ashley J. Davis, J. W. 
Roberson, R. Davis, E. W. Ange, Joseph B. Jones, D. W. Davis, C. T. Swain, 
A. T. Hamilton. Their first clerks: John H. Mizell, (1866); H. H. Davis, 
(1878); Ashley J. Davis, (1889). Their first church school 1890, enrolled 
32, including 7 teachers; G. W. Hardison, superintendent; L. P. Holliday, 
secretary. That year the school "paid for all purposes", $2.50. Their church 
property valuation in 1901 was $500; in 1930, $1,000. 

( 76 ) 

A short distance to the east of Poplar Chapel, stood its mother church, 
Welch's Creek, (40 members in 1841), earliest of this faith in Martin County. 
Another name for it was Free Union. Welch's Creek remained on the Con- 
ference roll, 1841 to 1S73. Their Conference delegates: Wiley Moore, Henry 
L. Gurganus, and the Ange's: Cullen, Don, Edwin, and William. Its preach- 
ing services were quarterly on second Sunday week-ends of September, De- 
cember, March, and June. It entertained their State Conference in 1S43. At 
its dissolving in 1873, their 38 members are said to have gone to nearby 
Poplar Chapel and Christian Hope. Earliest Disciple minister, (1851) 
to reside in the community was John R. Winfield, (1S20-1899), at Gardner's 

On November 25, 1866, Poplar Run was organized with 27 members, of 
whom 12 were men and 15 women; four preachers participated, namely: 
H. D. Cason, J. M. Gurganus, J. J. Coltrain, and II. S. Gurganus. Their first 
officers: elders: Wrighter Davis, John H. Holliday, Henry Cooper; deacons: 
Edward Mizell, Ashley J. Davis; treasurer, Stephen H. Davis. Their first 
building was a "free church," erected in 1866 at cost of $75, but rebuilt wholly 
by Disciples in 1871, at an additional cost of $175, and renamed Poplar 
Chapel two years later. 

Dennis Wrighter Davis held their revival, September 7-19, 1897, with 12 
additions. While there he dedicated their new house of worship on the 
12th; sermon text, Ps. 127:1. Davis said: "They have a neat comfortable 
house, and no debt. A church house is often a good index to the spiritual 
condition of those who worship in it. Poplar Chapel has before it a bright 

H. C. Bowen evangelized there during the last week in September, 1899, 
adding 9 persons. He commented: "Their house of worship is a great im- 
provement on the old hull in which we used to meet. While there are no 
rich people in the church they promptly meet every obligation. Their Sun- 
day School tried to die, but has now taken on new life." J. A. Mizell reported 
a visit of Warren A. Davis, brother of Dennis, to Poplar Chapel on April 30, 
1902, as follows: "His sermon was of a high order and scourged us sharply 
for our shortcomings. The church has been in somewhat of eclipse. We are 
clear of all debt, and have commenced raising money for State Missions." 

In their cemetery is buried a native son, Dennis Wrighter Davis, (1869- 
1912), memorialized by the impressive monument. It is the gift of eastern 
North Carolina Disciples who held him in high esteem for his work's sake. 
The inscription declares his excellence as an effective evangelist and his 
towering initiative in the founding of The North Carolina Christian Mission- 
ary Convention and Atlantic Christian College. 

Membership at Poplar Chapel is reportedly 95. 

Roll of Ministers at Poplar Chapel. 

1865-1880 ...H. S. Gurganus 1909 D. H. Petree 

1881 ... J. G. Gurganus 1911-1913 ...A. J. Manning 

1882 J. R. Winfield 1914-191G Warren A. Davis 

1883, 1888 Henry Winfield 1922. 1923 D. W. Arnold 

1884 .... J. L. Burns 1924 ... W. O. Winfield 

1889-1891 H. C. Bowen 1925 ....J. A. Mizell 

1896-1899; 1917-1921; 1926... L. T. Holliday 

1927-1930 C. E.Lee 1932-1940 ... Daniel Hardison 

1902 J. B. Respess, Sr. 1941-1949 Dennis Warren Davis 

( 77 ) 


In Currituck County at its southern extreme is Powells Point, (population 
75). It is on Federal 158, a Highway southbound for the widely-acclaimed 
"Lost Colony." Baptist religion in this peninsular county, long and narrow, 
was established early; the Coinjock church in 1780; Powells Point in 1787. 
Tides of Primitiveism arose and fell in these churches, which at intervals, 
were in and out of the anti-missionary Kehukee and the missionary Chowan. 
At the Point to escape from the missionary vision of Luther Rice, 20 persons 
withdrew in 1831 from the Chowan to the Kehukee, their number declining 
to 13 in 1836. There had been 72 members there, far back in 1811, when 
cooperative spirit marked the Chowan. Powells Point postoffice was estab- 
lished in 1835, Joshua Harrison, postmaster, his annual pay decreasing from 
$11.62 to $10 within the next four years. In 1896 the place had three stores 
namely: W. G. Banks, R. Ethridge, and Gibbs Bros. 

Powell's Point Christian Church with 55 members was enrolled by The 
North Carolina Christian Missionary Society on October 9, 1880. It sent $1 
that year to help in printing the Convention's annual Minutes. Later this 
was increased to $2 per annum to secure the valued brotherhood records 
Moreover specified sums were pledged by the church for State Missions. Rep- 
resenting them in their early State Conventions were: J. L. Burns and J. F. 
Doyle. Their first clerks: E. V. Melson, (1887); W. H. Gallop, (1895). Their 
first church school, 1886, enrolled 56, including 6 teachers; in 1890 the en- 
rollment was 75, including 10 teachers; who "paid for all purposes" that 
year, $25; officers: H. H. Harrison, superintendent; L. M. Gallop, secretary. 
Their church property valuation in 1901 was $300; in 1930, $8,000. 

Evangelist J. L. Burns worked long at these northeastern missions. Writ- 
ing about Powell's Point in May, 1882, he said that H. H. Harrison "keeps up 
a large active Lord's Day School but the school is far in advance of the 
church. As a whole they are teachable. I anticipate good results." J. T. 
Walsh arrived there August 27, 1883, and related: 

Here I preached four times in a schoolhouse. The brethren talk of 
erecting a meeting house and I trust they may soon do so, for one is 
greatly needed. On August 30, 1883, rising a great while before day, 
Tiro. J. L. Burns and I were taken by Bro. H. H. Harrison in his cart to 
Newbern's Landing to take shipping to Hertford on the Steamer Har- 

Evangelist H. C. Bowen, August 2-9, 1891, held their revival, adding 13. 
He "preached three times a day at all-day meetings" throughout the eight 
days. Dennis Wrighter Davis came at "potato-digging time," July 20-28, 1895. 
to evangelize there, reaping a harvest of 29 souls. He exulted: "The meeting 
was one of the best I ever held. I have never seen a more unselfish pastor 
and people than those at Powell's Point. They give not grudgdingly but 
cheerfully. Amount contributed for the meeting. $50.75; this we regard as 
very liberal." 

In February, 1900, J. S. Henderson, their new pastor, reported: "Powell's 
Point is moving up. It has been said that it is dying. Because of various 
setbacks in the past they had grown careless and neglectful and it will take 
time and discreet management to bring them back to their former standard, 
especially in State work." In June, 1901, pastor J. F. Sumrell said: "We 
have sold our old lamps and put in new lights of more power. Our next im- 
provement is brand-new church pews." 

( 78 ) 

In December, 1920, a C. E. Society of 45 members was organized, Mrs. T. 
Guard, president. In April, 1935, Mrs. Edith Parker was church correspond- 
ent and Ben D. Gallop was church school superintendent. The church had a 
Delco light plant. There was a two-story, eight-room parsonage next door to 
the church. The membership included some of the County's most useful 
citizens. Dr. W. T. Griggs with state-wide reputation as an old-time provin- 
cial Doctor on the "Banks"; Judge George Sumrell presiding at the County 
Recorder's Court, Sheriffs Tillett, and R. L. Griggs; and some of the mightiest 
hunters of ducks and geese. 

There were 360 Disciples in the county. It was a great missionary chal- 
lenge. They were in need of brotherhood undergirding at once tactful and 
adequate. This was offered. On July 16, 1939, under new and vigorous lead- 
ership their church board was reorganized with 16 officers; T. G. Dowdy, 
chairman; Mrs. N. B. Sawyer, clerk; I. M. Gallop, treasurer. Their pastor 
sustained in substantial part by State Missions, said: "We greatly appreciate 
the missionary help being received. The work at Powell's Point is encour- 

There in 1948, "new church school rooms were erected with enthusaism"- 
a blessing to these isolated Christians. 

Membership at Powell's Point is reportedly 300. 

Roll of Ministers at Powell's Point. 

1SS1 Henry Winfield 1923-1928- J.R.Lee 

1882, 1883 J. L. Burns 1929-1936 Malcolm Penney 

1884-1889 E. L. Sowers 1939, 1940 E. J. Harris 

1895-1899, 1903-1905 J. F. Sumrell 1941 W. O. Henderson 

1900 J. S. Henderson 1942-1948 P. E, Cayton 

1911-1913 Dennis Wrighter Davis 1949 „_H. Edgar Harden 

1914 C. E. Lee 1950 R. L. Topping 

1915-1919 _C. B. Mashburn 1952 G. C. Bland 

1920. 1921 Z. N. Deshields 


This town, (population, 1684 in 1960), is in west-Martin County. It was 
incorporated in 1870; population 148 in 1880. This rose to 400 in 1896 when it 
had 18 stores including Mrs. H. B. Roberson's millinery shop, and Dr. R. H. 
Hargrove's drug dispensary. First train arrived there, Friday, September 8, 
1882, drawn by the "new and elegant 35-ton engine." It made the 11-mile 
run from Williamston in 33 minutes. To celebrate the event a public dinner 
was generously provided by H. D. Roberson, prominent citizen and leading 
Disciple layman. Henry Winfield, his pastor, "ascended the stand and made 
a short and beautiful speech to the friends, officers and laborers of the road." 
The response was "in a short but well digested congratulatory speech." 

In July, 1876, Josephus Latham and Stanley Ayers evangelized in the vil- 
lage, resulting in 28 baptisms and organization of the local Christian church. 
It grew to 43 members when on October 13, 1877, it was enrolled by The North 
Carolina Christian Missionary Society. Their delegates in the annual State 
Conventions until 1889, were: J. B. Roberson, H. D. Roberson, J. A. B. 
Cooper, J. N. Manning, J. H. Grimes, S. D. Barnhill, W. W. Andrews, J. L. 
Peel, J. R. Winfield, J. R. Whitfield. Their earliest clerks: W. T. Outter- 
bridge, (1877); W. W. Andrews, (1887). Their first church school, 1890, 

( 79 ) 

enrolled 24, including 4 teachers; W. W. Andrews, superintendent. Their 
C.W.B.M. in 1911 had 9 members; 6 subscribers to Missionary Tidings; and 
it gave $21.45 that year to general and state funds. Their church property 
valuation in 1901 was $500; in 1930, $15,000. 

Its mother church was Zion's Grove (1872-1889), which stood in the open 
country two miles north. It came from the pioneer evangelizing of H. D. 
Cason and Thomas Roebuck who enrolled Zion's Grove in the Convention. 
October 12, 1872, with 35 members. At the organization in Robersonville, 
37 at Zion's Grove transferred fellowship to the new church in the village. 
The only clerk at the Grove in its 18 years was Samuel Reason. Other lay- 
men there: James Williams, J. B. Manning, J. B. Whitfield, G. W. Wynn, 
Wiley Manning, J. B. Roberson, J. H. Glisson. Some others who affiliated 
there: Betsy Reason, Julia Reason, Sarah A. Reason Manning, Polly Reason, 
Polly Wynn, Joe Guilford, Winnie Guilford, Betty Guilford Croom, and Lydia 

The first building for Robersonville Disciples was a frame structure erected 
in 1877, and first used August 12 that year. In their congregational singing 
on that occasion Albert Roberson lined out their first hymn: "When Thou 
the Righteous Judge shall come to take His ransomed people home." Their 
State Conventions in 1878, 1881, and 1919, were entertained there. Also they 
were host, April 27-29, 1883, to the old First District Union to which they 
belonged. At that meeting a set of resolutions adopted declared that hence- 
forth it "shall be called the Missionary Cooperation." 

In The Christian Tribune (Baltimore), December 9, 1897, D. H. Petree 
commented: "S. W. Sumrell is doing a fine pastoral work at Robersonville. 
He believes in pushing things. He collected more money last year for State 
Missions than any man in the State." 

H. H. Moore, Greenville pastor, held their revival in April, 1905. His re- 
port: "We had one confession, (adult), and held baptismal services at Flat 
Swamp. There are only five members of this church living in Robersonville. 
and these are all in one family. Asa J. Manning came and pronounced the 
meeting an entire success. He is to reorganize the church on May 21, 1905. 
There are a lot of young people here who can be captured for Christ. The 
people in this fine field treated us royally.'" Nanna Crozier for the Woman's 
Work followed in June and said: "The work at Robersonville was just being 
revived and is not yet on its feet. I spoke at the morning service and again 
at Sunday School. There was no chance for an auxiliary there at present 
but Miss Alice Grimes promised to organize a Junior when she returned 
from her summer trip." 

For decades stabilized growth was not evident in the Robersonville church. 
As late as 1911 it reported but 43 members, the same it had at the beginning 
35 years before. However in 1912-'13, J. J. Taylor of South Elkhorn, near 
Lexington, Ky., held meetings in Robersonville aggregating almost 15 weeks, 
adding a remarkable total of 93 members. These were well conserved by a 
wise, aggressive, resident pastorate. 

Their Ladies' Aid organized in 1912, contributed greatly to local church 
development. Their first officers: president, Mrs. R. H. Hargrove; vice presi- 
dent, Mrs. Lennie Smith; treasurer, Mrs. Hattie Jim Roberson. Field secre- 
tary Etta Nunn organized their W.C.M.S., (now C.W.F.), in 1917, with 10 
members. Their first officers: president, Mrs. Bettie Gray; treasurer, Mrs. 
Hattie Roberson. It now has 8 groups with 125 members whose earnest 
activities make for spiritual uplift. 

( 80 ) 

A brick structure was begun in 1913 and dedicated October 19, 1919, with 
J. M. Perry, pastor, and George L. Snively, guest speaker. It was marked 
by the heroic giving of a generous people. A two-story parsonage was ac- 
quired, and the obligation fully paid in 1934. Previously a $5,000 note in the 
local bank was paid in April, 1916, which inspired the pastor to say: "The 
spiritual condition of the church here has been at a low ebb; it will rise now 
with a newness of life." 

In April, 1924, a tornado in the community left 150 persons homeless. The 
First Christian Church escaped damage, but several families in it suffered 
heavy losses. Next year a fund was started for additional church school 
equipment. November 26, 1942, marked the passing of Mrs. Betty Guilford 
Croom, 82, last surviving charter member; the daughter of Joseph and Win- 
nie Guilford, "towers of strength," in the early church there. In the town's 
pioneer cemetery plot at the rear of the church are the graves of James H. 
Grimes, (1845-1914), and his wife, Susan C. Grimes, (1852-1899); and H. D. 
Roberson, (1824-18S4), and his wife, Martha Roberson, (1824-1877). 

Their C.M.F., (106 men), was organized on March 9, 1949. More than 
$10,000 was raised and expended on various improvements includidng new 
pipe organ, new pews, and interior redecoration. The passing of J. M. Perry 
was on May 20, 1952. He had given 29 years to that pastorate. All local 
business was suspended during the funeral — a mark of appreciation for one 
who had so long been a friend, a comrade, or a spiritual guide to his towns- 

On September 7, 1952, Wilbur T. Wallace, their new pastor was installed; 
also inducted on the same day were 4 elders, 23 deacons and 3 deaconesses. 
Early in 1953 a most desirable lot for their educational plant was acquired. 
A year later blueprints were accepted and a contractor employed. Ground- 
breaking was on May 27, 1954; C. Abram Roberson, chairman of the board 
turned the first shovel of sod. From their overcrowded facilities the church 
school moved into the new building valued at $100,000, on January 29, 1956. 
It was high time, as the school had reached an attendance of 301. 

Here on September 23, 1956, William F. Taylor, native son, was ordained 
to the ministry. Frankie Herring was called as Youth Director, to be fol- 
lowed by Ted Hubert in 1957. A pulpit Bible was dedicated, the gift of the 
pastor in memory of his mother, Mrs. Clara Wallace. A beautiful chapel 
was outfitted, seating 50. An oil portrait of J. M. Perry was painted by Mrs. 
Ruth Roberson, and presented and dedicated on May 19, 1957. Mrs. C. Abram 
Roberson, long-time church organist, presiding. 

Leamon Ward, custodian of the local church grounds and buildings faith- 
fully for 20 years was honored by the church with appropriate gifts on March 
1, 1959. A church library began to serve in March, 1960. Their C.M.F. 
accepted on January 10, 1961, their goal of $600 for the "Program of Advance" 
in State Missions. Their new modernistic brick parsonage was completed 
early this year. 

Membership at Robersonville is reportedly 395. 

Roll of Ministers at Robersonville. 

1881 Gideon Allen 1899, 1901 W. O. Winfield 

1882 J. R. Winfield 1900 __. ___M. S. Spear 

1883-1889 Henry Winfield 1902 J. R. Tingle 

1897, 1898 S. W. Sumrell 1905-1908 ...A. J. Manning 

1899 _ P. S. Swain 1909, 1910 C. W. Howard 

( 81 ) 

1911.- .-.Hayes Farish 1924 J. G. Ulmer 

1912, 1913 Warren A. Davis 1925. 1926 O. E. Fox 

1914 C. F. Outlaw 1927 R. L. Harrell 

1915-.- W. C. Wade 1928-1931 ..... C. B. Mashburn 

1916-1923; 1 932-1952... J.M.Perry 1952-1961 W.T.Wallace 


A few miles northeast of Washington, near Bunyan, is Rosemary. Numer- 
ous Woolards lived in the community when on October 23, 1887, the church 
with 44 members was enrolled by The North Carolina Christian Missionary 
Convention. It had paid that year $35 for preaching and it sent 50 cents to 
the State Convention designated for printing of the Convention Minutes 
truly valued by the connected churches. This was raised to 75 cents in 1891, 
when they also gave $4 for State Missions. Their delegates to the Annual 
State Meetings: F. AVoolard, Elvin Woolard, W. T. Boyd. Their first clerks: 
Absalom Woolard, (1887); Edward D. Woolard, (1892). Their church prop- 
erty valuation in 1930 was $1500. 

In a reminiscence published in The Watch Toner, May 26, 1905, evangelist 
H. S. Davenport revealed: "In the summer of 1884 I held a meeting in a 
little schoolhouse a few miles from Washington and had some additions. Bro. 
J. L. Winfield came out and preached one night for me and also attended to 
the baptizing of the candidates. The church is now known as Rosemary." 

On the eve of his leaving the State to attend The College of the Bible at 
Lexington, Ky., R. H. Jones, then pastor at Ayden, N. C. held their revival, 
September 8-15, 1900. There was one accession. He reported: "Some say 
that Rosemary is a hard place but I have sufficient reason to believe there 
are some as earnest Disciples there as can be found anywhere." 

Membership at Rosemary is reportedly 200. 

Roll of Ministers at Rosemary. 

1884 H. S. Davenport 1937 Roe L. Harris 

1887-1900 J. B. Respess, Sr. 1938-1940 R. V. Hope 

1909-1913; 1915, 1916; 1941 D.W.Arnold 

1923-1936.. C. E. Lee 1942 J. B. Respess, Jr. 

1914 Thomas Green 1943-1947 R. H. Walker 

1917-1922 .... J. R. Lee 


This church is a few miles southeast of Bath in the Bayview-Ransomville 
community. It is on the Pungo-Pamlico-bounded cape, near Gaylord, (popu- 
lation, 50). In 1881, George C. Respess reported a nucleus of 24 Disciples 
at Gaylord's schoolhouse, 15 of whom had been baptized that year. Not 
having a building of their own there is no further report from them until 
1887, when they had builded a house of worship at cost of $119.71, had ex- 
pended $17.18 for preaching, and had four baptisms. Wherefore they were 
enrolled by The North Carolina Christian Missionary Convention on October 
23, 1887, reporting 35 members, who sent 50 cents for the "publishing fund", 
(Minutes). In 1894 they had grown to 80 members, raised $50 for "local 
purposes," sent 75 cents for the Minutes, and gave $2 to State Missions. Their 
first clerk, 1887, was O. F. Mason. Their first church school, 1893, enrolled 
30, including 5 teachers, O. F. Mason, superintendent; George C. Respess, 

( 82 ) 

secretary. In 1897, H. S. Hardy was superintendent, enrolling 67, who con- 
tributed a total of $5 during the year. Their church property valuation in 
1901 was $250; in 1930, $3,000. 

The church has a dual name in the records. Alternately it is Sinclair's 
Creek and St. Clair's Creek. For the most part since 1902 it has been the 
latter on the registry. H. S. Davenport, trumpeting Gabriel of the missionary 
cooperation, visited there on January 13, 1901, and said: "I had a good con- 
gregation at Sinclair's Creek and distributed mission envelopes. Every 
church should be interested in State Missions. Every Disciple should be a 
strong expansionist. Ask great things of God, expect great things from Him." 

He was there again nearly two years later and wrote: 

On December 7, 1902 I met my appointment at St. Clair's Creek, and at 
Bayside in the afternoon. I am hoping great things from the above places 
and trust I will not be disappointed. State Missions is now demanding 
our attention, and every one not an object of charity should consider it a 
blessed privilege to give. Bro. S. H. Jackson of Bayside made me happy 
with a gift so I can face the nor-'westers without one emotion of fear. 
Mrs. M. M. Fortiscue and Mrs. Lulu Fortiscue gave my family valuable 
gifts. My thanks and best wishes to St. Clair's Creek sisters. 

Membership at St. Clair's Creek is reportedly 200. 

Roll of Ministers at St. Clair's Creek. 

1SS7-1889 J. B. Respess, Sr. 1926, 1927 - D. G. Saunders 

1909 Dennis Wrighter Davis 1932 Roe L. Harris 

1911-1913 S. Tyler Smith 1933-1937— L. B. Scarborough 

1914 Pendell Bush 1938, 1939 D.W.Arnold 

1915, 1916, 1928, 1941 J. A. Saunders 1940 E. H. Eppling 

1917, 1928, 1929, 1930_ _..W. O. Winfield 1942, 1943 W. I. Bennett 

1919-1921 J. W. Lollis 1944-1947 R. L. Topping 

1922-1924 J. S. Williams 194S H. F. Speight, Jr. 

1925 John R. Smith 


It is six miles northeast of Plymouth near Albemarle Sound, and was or- 
ganized in 1872, in which year 23 were baptized there and 27 others were re- 
ceived by statement. Thus on October 12, that year, it was enrolled by the 
Annual Meeting of the State's Disciples, with 47 members. Their delegates in 
State Conventions, were: Rufus Swain, A. H. Swain, A. C. Wentz, C. W. 
Swain, G. W. Allen, Joseph Swain, J. T. Sitterson, G. W. Ayers. Their first 
clerk, 1878, was Edward D. Swain. Their first church school, 1887, enrolled 
45, including 5 teachers; Rufus Swain, superintendent. In 1897, W. A. Swain 
was superintendent, and the "money raised" during the year, $2S.36. Their 
C. E. Society with 16 members was organized in 1897. Their church property 
valuation in 1901 was $1,000; in 1930, $2,000. 

Early evangelizing by Disciples in what became the Saints Delight com- 
munity had resulted in a church at Swains Grove, first known as Folly's 
schoolhouse which was made a State Conference member with Disciples. 
October 18, 1856. Its 26 members had been gathered that year, 22 by bap- 
tism and 4 by statement. It remained on the State's roll four years. An- 
other result, probably tying in with the first mentioned, was the Sound Side 
congregation. It arose in 1S69 with 44 members increasing to 65 in 1870, 

( 83 ) 

when it sent as their delegates to the State Conference: C. Swain, Mc. Davis, 
and J. Craft. 

H. S. Davenport touring among the county's Disciples in March, 1883, 
commented : 

Saints Delight is a strong church. It has a host of Swains and they 
are as true to the gospel as the needle is to the pole. Bro. C. W. Swain is 
a power. He stands up boldly and battles for the cause. He fearlessly 
discharges the duties of his eldership. Sister Josie Swain is a warm- 
hearted Disciple; rejoices at the prosperity of Zion; weeps at the apathy 
of the church. 

Thomas Green held their revival July 24-31, 1892. P. S. Swain gave this 
account: "The church thought it a good time for a meeting. There were 
9 baptisms, and the church was otherwise benefitted. We are now finishing 
our house of worship and will have it dedicated in September, or October, 

In The Watch Tower of November 25, 1904, the editor praised Peter Stephen 
Swain, (1862-1906), as follows: "He has been a constant supporter of State 
Missions; has also shown himself a true friend of world-wide missions. He 
was a student at Bethany College, 1891, and later graduated at 
Carolina Christian College. His good example added much force to 
his preaching. He was a strong advocate of missionary work." For two 
years he was Superintendent of Schools in Washington County. Another 
laid to rest in the Saints Delight church cemetery is William A. Swain, (1869- 
1945), a "faithful member of the church there from early youth until death," 
and superintendent of their church school for 61 years. Also a grave there 
of poignant interest is that of Joe Grey Gurganus, (1850-1882). His was a 
short career but it was that of a "faithful, indefatigable worker", stamping 
indelible impressions upon entranced hearers by his flaming pulpit oratory. 

Nanna Crozier, state organizer for Woman's Work came on June 1, 1906. 
Her report: "At Saints Delight we had a small meeting on Thursday night. 
Those present encouraged us by their kindly interest. The Junior Builders 
were reorganized with Eva Sitterson as superintendent. I believe this will 

J. W. Lollis held their revival, summer of 1925. Pastor J. R. Tingle observ- 
ed at that time, "The church is in good condition." Mrs. Mattie R. Swain 
reporting the revival held there by Louis A. Mayo on August 18-24, 1930. 
said that Louis "had endeared himself to the people of this community when 
he served as their pastor when young in the ministry. He had large, at- 
tentive audiences. There were 23 additions, ages ranging from 12 to 55." 

Membership at Saints Delight is reportedly 120. 

Roll of Ministers at Saints Delight. 

1881 - -- -J. G. Gurganus 1917, 1918 George A. Moore 

1882 A. C. Wentz 1919 W. H. Marler 

1884 .._ -J. B. Parsons 1920,1921 L. A. Mayo 

1888 Henry Winfield 1922-1926; 1928 J. R. Tingle 

1892 Thomas Green 1927 D. G. Saunders 

1901-1905 P. S. Swain 1929, 1930 W. O. Winfield 

1906-1910 J. R. Tingle 1931-1934 G. D. Davis, Sr. 

1911-1913 C. B. Mashburn 1935-1938 M. L. Ambrose 

1914 L. C. Carawan 1939-1946 P. E. Cayton 

1915, 1916 .....J. C. Coggins 

( 84 ) 


This village, (population, 110), is in southwestern Hyde on Federal 264, 
southern route to the "Lost Colony." The John L. Roper Lumber Company, 
Mr. Atkinson, manager, operated a plant there, industrially fathering the 
community. Since it was the home of the Atkinsons who came from Scran- 
ton, Pa., this North Carolina postoft'ice established in 1890, was named senti- 
mentally perhaps for the Pennsylvania city. The Tarheel Scranton became 
the eighth in America to get that postoffice name, and was one of the 10 
offices in Hyde at the time. In 1896 it had four stores, namely: J. C. Bishop 
and Sons, Bridgeman Bros., J. W. Lupton, R. H. Richards. 

A. J. Battle came to the place to evangelize for the Disciples, August 19-25, 
1855. There were 7 baptisms and the consequent start of the church. Battle 
said: "There were a few members of the Christian church living around 
Neals Chapel and with those newly baptized, will, by the Divine permission, 
be organized into a church on September 15, 1855. This will be the first 
Christian church ever constituted in this rich and intelligent County." With 
15 members Neal's Chapel was enrolled by the Annual Conference of the 
State's Disciples on October 20, 1855. The statistical note printed after its 
name, reads: "new church admitted." They sent 50 cents toward printing 
of the Convention Minutes. Their delegates in the State Meetings, were: 
A. J. Battle, J. B. Respess, Sr., J. C. Bishop, F. M. Bell. Their first clerks: 
G. B. Richards, (1887); George H. Harris, (1888). In 1890 their membership 
had grown to 76, who gave $13.90 to brotherhood-related missions that year. 
Their first church school, 1888, enrolled 39, including 4 teachers; in 1892, the 
enrollment was 32, including 6 teachers; W. H. O'Neal, superintendent; F. 
M. Bishop, secretary. Their C. W. B. M. in 1911 had 6 members, 5 subscribers 
to Missionary Tidings, and gave $4.35 to general and state funds. Their 
church property valuation in 1901 was $1,000; in 1930, $2,000. 

Its first name, Neal's Chapel, has perhaps had more variant spelling than 
any in the book. It looked like freeing the Irish when O'Neal's Chapel was 
recorded as the final variation. From 1892 it has been Scranton in the Dis- 
ciples' registry. This church was decidedly cooperative at the start. When 
the old First District Union met at Pantego, August 29-31, 1856, J. H .Gowers 
was their delegate. Evangelist Battle said of Hyde: "The people of this 
County are intelligent, liberal-minded, and being blessed with the means, if 
truly converted to God, would no doubt put forth a benevolent effort to 
sustain and extend our evangelical labors." In April, 1894, Scranton made 
the first church offering in history to Higher Education to an institution 
among North Carolina Disciples of Christ; when it gave $3 to Carolina 
Christian College. An early Scranton leader had made an on-the-ground 
study of the Ayden School and thus had done a knowledgeable job in its 

Pastor Thomas Green of Pantego was at his Scranton appointment on 
Christmas Day, 1898. He saw happy families enjoying the festival's abund- 
ance of material things. Then he remembered that back at Pantego the 
veteran, John R. Winfleld, nearing the end of a long self-sacrificing life, was 
without due abundance. The compassionate Green took up Scranton's offer- 
ing of $2.02, conveying it to his aged fellow-minister. He testified: "This was 
gladly received by him." 

H. S. Davenport served them in a long pastorate. He thus accounted for 
one of his visits: 

( 85 ) 

I was at Scranton and Rose Bay on May 24, 1903. Misses Ellen and 
May Atkinson are leading the singing and playing the organ there. I 
am really grateful. I would be glad to see Scranton take the lead in 
every grand work. I notice with pleasure that a new chapel has taken 
the place of the old one. The sisters now say, repaint is the next thing 
in order. 

Membership at Scranton is reportedly 50. 

Roll of Ministers at Scranton. 

1855-1864 J. B. Respess, ,Sr. 1919,1920- S. Tyler Smith 

1881 J. R. Winfield 1921-1924 John R. Smith 

1882 J. B. Parsons 1925 .._ W. 0. Winfield 

1883 J. S. Henderson 1926-1930; 1944, 

1884 Augustus Latham, Jr. 1945 W. P. Armstrong 

1888, 1889, 1903 H. S. Davenport 1931-1936—. C. E. Lee 

1899— ....Thomas Green 1940, 1941 J. B. Respess, Jr. 

1909 -J. W. McCleary 1942 F. A. Lilley 

1911-1913 A. F. Leighton 1946-1950 M. L. Ambrose 

1917, 1918 W. H. Marler 


It is about 24 miles east of Plymouth near the village of Scuppernong, 
(population, 153). It is close to Federal 64, the central route to the "Lost 
Colony". Stores of four tradesmen were there in 1867, namely: Belangia and 
Wynne, Joseph D. Davenport, Hartsfield and Barright, and William McCleese. 
Also resident there in 1867 were Dr. H. H. Norman, and the lawyer, Josiah 
Collins. The postmaster then was T. B. Myers. 

Known first as Free Chapel, it was enrolled with 106 members by the An- 
nual Meeting of the State's Disciples on October 8, 1871. The name was 
changed to Scuppernong in 1897, after Disciples had erected there a repre- 
sentative building of their own. Their delegates in annual State Conventions, 
were: J. R. Winfield, Joe Grey Gurganus, John Newberry, W. T. Hatfield, 
Thomas J. Basnight. Their first clerk: Thomas J. Basnight, (1878). Their 
first church school, 1887, holding for ten months each year, enrolled 82, in- 
cluding 8 teachers; Thomas J. Basnight, superintendent. The school "con- 
tributed for all purposes" that year, $8, and had 150 books in their library. 
Their church property valuation in 1897 was $1200; in 1920, $1500. 

A mention of personnel is in folksy notes of H. S. Davenport, itinerant 
shepherd of scattered flocks. About his visit there in February, 1884, he 
said: "I stopped with Mr. and Mrs. John L. Combs, active members at Free 
Chapel; also called on Mr. and Mrs. Jordan Snell who are quietly walking 
down the hill of life showing their faith by their works." 

As J. Boyd Jones left in September, 1897, to attend at Lexington, Ky., the 
College of the Bible, he recalled: "I went to Free Chapel to help build a 
house of worship. The way looked dark and dreary. The house is all com- 
plete now and dedicated to the service of the Lord Who enabled us to build 
it. My successor will find it one of the best houses in AVashington County." 
Thomas J. Basnight, faithful treasurer at Scuppernong had advanced $694.49 
to meet cash requirements in the construction payroll, and the contributions 
seeping in meanwhile amounted to a total of but $47.73, leaving balance on 
the underwriting $646.76. He confessed: "I feel that the Lord will pay me 
back and not permit me to suffer." B. H. Melton, state evangelist, promptly 

( 86 ) 

dedicated the edifice. The progressive resolving of the debt needed some 
brotherhood backing. It had it. There was adopted the following resolution 
in the Disciples' State Convention of 1900: 

That the State Board assist the Scuppernong church in getting a loan 
from the Church Extension fund to liquidate the debt on building, and 
further that Plymouth, Scuppernong, and Roanoke Chapel be grouped 
and that $250 be allowed them from State Missions on preacher's salary., 
provided these churches raise $250 for same. 

In the summer of 1901, pastor J. W. Reynolds held their revival and bap- 
tized 11. He said that the effort had a "blue beginning" because the church 
was spiritually unprepared for it, but he rejoiced in the final triumph. They 
had "adopted some new methods of work;" had added "one member to the 
official board," and had achieved "a good Sunday school," he said. 

A prominent layman, Thomas J. Basnight, (Feb. 23, 1845-March 3, 1916), 
was a charter member at Scuppernong, served 48 years as a deacon there, 
and as an elder for a final two years. Pastor W. O. Winfield said of him : 
"He served faithfully to the last." 

Mrs. A. W. Alexander, local correspondent gave this insight in March, 1938: 

We reorganized our Ladies Aid at Scuppernong in 1934. We have 
painted and screened the church, and helped to build the group parsonage 
at Creswell, and helped to insure it, made our offerings to State Missions, 
and contributed to the 1937 flood relief. We made quilts and bedspreads 
for sale, and made and sold other commodities, and raised good sums by 
monthly dues. We are raising funds for construction of our local church 
school rooms. Our Ladies Aid has 16 members. 

Membership at Scuppernong is reportedly 130. 

Roll of Ministers at Scuppernong. 

1882..... A. C. Wentz 1925-1927 -D. W. Arnold 

1883, 1884 J. B. Parsons 1929-1937 R. O. Respess 

1888, 1889 Dennis Wrighter Davis 1938-1943 L. B. Bennett 

1910-1915 W. O. Winfield 1944, 1945... Perry F. Baldwin 

1916-1920...... Warren A. Davis 1946 .__ Lloyd Crowe 

1921, 1922 J. R. Tingle 1947-1950 ...G. C. Bland 

1923, 1924, 1928 S. Tyler Smith 


In the midst of fertile farmlands, this trade center, (population 195 in 
1960), is ten miles north-northeast of Greenville. It is at the intersection 
of State Highways 33 and 903 and on the Washington spur of the A. C. L. 
Railway. Its postoffice was established about 1894 when offices by that name 
were in 7 other states. Its people numbered 25 in 1896; its one store then 
was that of J. L. Perkins and Co. Ten years later the growing village had 
two more merchants, W. G. Stokes, and J. L. Cherry. The place was incor- 
porated in 1903. 

In 1916 pastor J. J. Walker of Greenville responding to requests of Disciples 
resident in the Stokes community fathered the new church there. It was 
enrolled with 26 members on November 16, 1916, by The North Carolina 
Christian Missionary Convention. Their first clerks: John W. Bailey, (1916); 
M. M. Stokes, (1918). Their first church school, 1922, enrolled 45, H. D. Gur- 
ganus, superintendent. Their church property valuation in 1916 was $275; 

( S7 ) 

iii 1930, $2,000. The Greenville church gave Stokes the windows from their 
original Dickinson Ave. plant, when in 1918 Greenville's new building on 
Sth Street was erected. 

A characteristic line from Stokes in March, 1918, declared: "The church 
is looking forward with interest in all the work of the Kingdom, and plan- 
ning to make an offering this Easter for the orphans and aged Disciples". 

H. F. Speight, Jr. held their revivals in 1953 and 1954, adding a grand 
total of 26. Their correspondent in April, 1954, wrote: "The church at Stokes 
is growing. They are working on their building fund and have $14,000 to- 
ward a new building." Work of construction began in June, 1957. Adverse 
conditions made building progress slow. However in January, 1958, the 
"brickwork was coming along nicely." After some months it was reported: 
"the beams have been delivered and construction is again underway." A 
committee was working "on memorial windows for the church." 

Their new plant was opened on June 14, 1959. The sanctuary seats 120; 
features of the interior are the laminated trusses, and memorial windows. 
There are four church school rooms for enrollment of 60, a choir room, a 
kitchen, and a pastor's study. A parking area is planned. 

Before the close of 1959, new deacons and new church school teachers were 
elected. Tile was laid in the class rooms to complete overall furnishings 
except baptistry and culinary equipment. Their C.Y.F. was organized to 
meet each Sunday night. A creditable gift had been made for Camp Caroline. 

Membership at Stokes is reportedly 60. 

Roll of Ministers at Stokes. 

1916-1918 J. J. Walker 1934 Carl Saunders 

1919, 1920 C. W. Howard 1935, 1936; 1938-1942 G. D. Davis, Sr. 

1921 W. O. Winfield 1937 R. V. Hope 

1922-1924 W. O. Henderson 1943-1946 H. G. James 

1925- L. A. Mayo 1948, 1949 C. J. Brown 

1926, 1927, 1932 W. T. Mattox 1950-1954; 1960, 1961 H. L. Tyer 

1928 J. W. Shockley 1955-1957 Kenneth Rouse 

1929, 1933 Edgar T. Harris 1958 Jack Scudder 

1930 P. W. Wiegmann 1959 Vere Rogers 


This village, (population, 212), has been Hyde County's seat since 1836. 
A gazetteer of 1854, says it was "a small post village — half a mile from 
Pamlico Sound and 170 miles east by south from Raleigh." It had but two 
stores in 1867; those of Ballance and Credle, and James M. Watson. Two 
preachers of the Disciples lived in Hyde in 1872, namely: H. D. Cason and 
S. L. Davis, when on October 12, that year, Swanquarter with 30 members 
was enrolled by the Annual Meeting of the State's Disciples. This isolated 
infant church in its early years had hard sledding. Its membership dwindled 
to 10 by 1879. It began to climb and in 1890 numbered 47, who sent 25 cents 
to the State Convention for publishing the Minutes, also gave $5.50 that year 
to brotherhood-related "Mission Work." Their Convention delegate through 
the years was H. D. Cason. Their first clerks: S. R. Cason, (1887); J. W. 
Jarvis, (1909). The first church school, 1885, S. R. Cason, superintendent; 
in 1893 it enrolled 30, including 3 teachers; Leon F. Harris, superintendent; 
J. L. Cason, secretary. A later superintendent was Mary Swindell, (1897). 
Their church property valuation in 1930 was $2500. 

( 88 ) 

A reorganization of the church with 31 members was effected in 1882 by 
evangelist H. D. Cason, who sent to their State Convention $1 for the Minutes. 
Pastor J. R. Winfield reporting for the church in October of that year, said: 
"The brethren at Swanquarter and Clark's schoolhouse, [Mt. Olive], are 
making arrangements to build houses of worship. Crops in Hyde are badly 
injured and we are somewhat dependent, but we trust in the wisdom and 
power of Him Who overrules all things for the good of His people." 

H. C. Bowen itinerating there in November, 1904, commented: "'Swan- 
quarter has a scattered membership; their house is in poor condition, and 
there is a chance for much improvement. A rich harvest awaits faithful 
reapers." Eight years later, pastor H. S. Davenport announced that it would 
'•soon begin work on a steeple, and to repaint its house. The Ladies' Aid is 
engaged in trying to raise money to put in new seats." 

Mrs. Joseph A. Saunders gave this account of the work there as of May. 
1936: "Our Swanquarter work is making good progress. The local attorney, 
0. L. Williams is a good worker, superintends our church school, also teaches 
capably. At Easter we had large crowds and excellent interest. New life 
prevails among these good people." 

Membership at Swanquarter is reportedly 100. 
Roll of Ministers at Swan Quarter. 

1S72 H. D. Cason 1915-1921 S. Tyler Smith 

1873. ... S. L. Davis 1922 J. T. Moore 

1874 J. L. Winfield 1923-1926; 1945, 1946 J. W. Lollis 

1878 ... - J. G. Gurganus 1927 D. G. Saunders 

1881, 1888 J. R. Winfield 1928 W. J. B. Burrus 

1882 J. B. Parsons 1929. 1930 John R. Smith 

1883 J. S. Henderson 1933-1935; 1939, 1940 Roe L. Harris 

1885 Augustus Latham, Jr. 1936, 1937 J. A. Saunders 

1890 Sackville M. Smith 1938 E. J. Harris 

1893 Thomas Green 1941 Z. N. Deshields 

1899,1900..... Merritt Owen 1942-1944.. J. Thomas Brown 

1908 H. H. Ambrose 1949.... F. A. Lilley 

1911-1914 H. S. Davenport 


In Beargrass community, southwest of Williamston, and near to Macedonia, 
is Sweet Home. Evangelist J. S. Henderson in 1891 lived at Old Ford, was 
employed by the State Missions Board, and on October 29, that year, reported: 
"I organized recently a Sunday School at Britton's schoolhouse. A prayer 
meeting has also been started there, and much of the month I have spent 
there in mission work which will result in the organizing of a church." This 
was the start of Sweet Home. Henderson gathered a nucleus of 19 Disciples 
there in 1891, which with the net revivalistic gain of 36 the next year com- 
posed the Sweet Home membership of 55 when enrolled on October 27, 1892, 
by The North Carolina Christian Missionary Convention. That year they 
expended $41.50 for "local work", sent 50 cents for the State Convention 
Minutes, and pledged $10 for State Missions. Their first clerks of record: 
G. Rawls, (1892); Seth W. Mizell, (1893). The first detailed record of their 
church school, 1893, shows enrollment of 50, including 5 teachers; William 
Mizell, superintendent; Seth W. Mizell, secretary; and $5 "paid for all pur- 

( 89 ) 

poses," that year. Their church property valuation in 1901 was $250; in 
1930, $500. 

Their correspondent said on October 15, 1895: 

Bro. Henry Smith Gurganus came and took charge of the little flock 
here at Sweet Home. No better guide could have come to our aid at a 
time when our future was so dark and gloomy. He has given us more 
general satisfaction than any other ever has done. Our newly organized 
young men's prayer meeting meets twice a month. We have plenty of 
young people whose talents should be cultivated. 

After 9 years from their schoolhouse start their building committee had 
in hand $23.99, most of which had been contributed by Beaver Dam, Macedonia, 
and other sister churches. Then pastor C. E. Lee, on September 8, 1900, an- 
nounced: "Work on our Sweet Home house of worship will be commenced 
at once. The church here is not strong but it has enough of the spirit of 
Christ to contribute liberally to His cause." W. U. Leggett was an active 
layman there, and H. S. Davenport identified two more, a "Bro. Martin," 
and "John Leggett, one of the most liberal Christians who lives near Sweet 
Home but his membership is at Macedonia." 

Pastor L. B. Bennett said in April, 1922: "Our average attendance at Sweet 
Home Sunday School is about 60. We have paid our apportionment of $10 
to Atlantic Christian College, and hope to increase it as the Lord prospers 
us." S. L. Jones held their two-weeks' meeting in July, 1933, with 24 addi- 
tions. "I reorganized the church," he said. 

Sweet Home was closed for some years. But in June, 1937, James D. Taylor, 
active Raleigh layman, and native son of Beargrass, had returned to lead 
for Christian betterment at his erstwhile home. He exulted: "This church 
is being revived. On April 18, 1937, we started our Sunday School again. 
Our average attendance is about 50. Herman Rogerson and Mrs. Luther 
Britton appealed for funds to paint the church and were successful." For 
redecoration $100 was used, the church having stood for 45 yeras without paint. 
In their church school, Nat Cherry was superintendent; Mrs. Allen Leggett, 
secretary; and Effie Davis Britton, pianist. Leaders in their Men's Class: 
C. R. Harrison, president; Mack Stalls, secretary and treasurer; James D. 
Taylor, teacher. 

Their "spiritual awakening" provided an "inspirational fellowship". On 
November 21, 1937, the congregation elected the following elders: Hyman 
Martin, Charles Ayers, Luther Britton; deacons: Garland Harris, Herbert 
Williams, Mack Stalls, Joe Taylor. An "efficient church school council" was 
set up to direct an attendance exceeding 100. Their building committee re- 
roofed the plant and "resumed work on their new church school rooms." The 
church was host to a quarterly session of the State Missions Board on Septem- 
ber 8, 1938. 

Membership at Sweet Home is reportedly 75. 

Roll of Ministers at Sweet Home. 

1891 J. S. Henderson 1932, 1933 A. E. Purvis 

1895 - H. S. Gurganus 1934-1937 S. L. Jones 

1900 C. E. Lee 1938 H. Edgar Harden 

1911-1915 A. J. Manning 1941 P. E. Cayton 

1917, 1918, 1920, 1921, 1942 R. L. Topping 

1925-1928 L. T. Holliday 1943, 1944 G. O. Gard 

1919 J. M. Perry 1945. 194G R. F. Butler 

1922-1924 L. B. Bennett 

( 90 ) 


It is five miles west of Pantego in the midst of a black-soiled wonderland, 
(population, 100). The village name translated is "Land of Heaven." It is 
predominantly Tarheel community, but skilled floriculture imported from 
The Netherlands has cleared, drained, utilized, and beautified a garden spot 
of a few hundred acres. There grow the tulips, iris, peonies, and gladioli. 
Seasonal flowering attracts many visitors to view this mystery and loveli- 
ness in nature. 

Disciples gathered at this trade center in the favored area, and secured 
Louis A. Mayo from Atlantic Christian College to preach for them. With 
25 members, Terra Ceia church was enrolled by The North Carolina Chris- 
tion Missionary Convention on November 11, 1920. Their first clerks: Mrs. 
L. R. Pilley, (1921); L. R. Cutler, (1922). Their first church school, 1922. 
enrolled 30; L. R. Cutler, superintendent. This grew to 50 in 1923, and the 
church gave $5 to The United Christian Missionary Society. Their house of 
worship was opened in 1924 when $1,060 was expended for "Local Purposes," 
leaving a building debt of $255.49, which was fully liquidated three years 
thereafter. Their church property valuation in 1923 was $500; in 1930, 

During the great depression of the 1930's the Men's Bible Class of the First 
Christian Church, Washington, N. C, helped vitally to keep the spiritual fires 
burning at Terra Ceia. They began a Sunday morning worship service called 
a Bible study class on October 2, 1932. This devoutly continued from Wash- 
ington was a substantial, edifying feature in the community's religious life. 

Membership at Terra Ceia is reportedly 75. 

Roll of Ministers at Terra Ceia. 

1921, 1922 L. A. Mayo 1933, 1934 D. W. Arnold 

1923,1924 J. R. Tingle 1935 J.A.Saunders 

1925 W. O. Winfield 1937 Malcolm Penney 

1926 _ ......J. W. Lollis 1938 _ W. I. Bennett 

1927 R. O. Respess 1944 E. B. Quick 

1929-1931; 1940-1942 J. B. Respess, Jr. 1955-1961 __ Dallas Ayers 


It is in Beaufort County, west of Old Ford, and 8 miles northwest of Wash- 
ington. Often a church has been named for a nearby stream. Of the 33 
churches in the North Carolina Disciples' fellowship of 1S55, 18 were named 
for respective neighborhood streams, or for some other object in nature. 
Tranter's Creek began as a Kehukee Baptist church in 1804, when 20 mem- 
bers from Skewarkey, near Williamston, were given to set up the branch at 
the Beaufort County site. It reported 21 members in 1811. It continued in 
the Kehukee Association until 1833 when it was summarily excommunicated 
since it "had departed from" that faith. The Old Ford Arminian leaders. 
Jeremiah Leggett, and his son, John, were responsible for the drift in both 
churches to the new faith. They were colleagues with General William 
Clark and others in the origin of the Union Meeting of Disciples of Christ in 
North Carolina at the Little Sister Conference, March 28-30, 1834. Having 
joined with the Disciples' initial institution in the State, Tranter's Creek was 
host to three of its early Fifth Sunday sessions, namely: March and Novem- 
ber in 1835; and July in 1836. Their later activities are not of record until 

( 91 ) 

October 19, 1851, when with 51 members, they were enrolled by the Annual 
Conference of the State's Disciples. 

In 1834, Edwin Gorham was their representative at the Little Sister set-up. 
Then from 1851 to 1889, their State Convention delegates, were: William 
Rogerson, Henry Jolly, J. G. Leggett, J. B. Leggett. J. Rogerson, A. J. Battle, 
H. D. Cason, M. D. "Wilson. B. L. Leggett, Adolphus Ward, A. C. Holt, J. Bay- 
nor, R. V. Ricks. George Britton, Augustus Latham. Jr., D. M. Ricks, John 
W. Davis, Benjamin Belcher, J. B. Hardison. Their first clerks: G. H. Leg- 
gett, (1885); J. H. Adams, (1887); J. W. Leggett, (1895). E. P. Latham was 
their church school superintendent in 1911. Their church property valuation 
in 1899 was $500; in 1930, $1,000. 

Dennis Wrighter Davis, Washington pastor, accounting to the State Mis- 
sions office for May, 1891, said: "By an agreement between the State Board 
and the Washington church I was to preach for Tranter's Creek the last half 
of the year in the one-fourth of my time employed by the Convention. So I 
attended my May appointment at Tranter's Creek and received cash for State 
Missions, $8." 

Pastor J. Thomas Brown served Tranter's Creek in 1905. Leaving in Sep- 
tember that year to attend The College of the Bible at Lexington, Ky., he 
reported their recent revival which had added 41. He said: "Some of the 
best material in the community were won for Christ." Further: "They have 
bought an organ, new song books, and have met all current expenses. They 
want a pastor at once; will pay $100 yearly salary." 

W. G. Walker, state evangelist and editor, remarked in The Carolina Evan- 
gel, April 18, 1907: 

Tranter's Creek was apportioned $6 for State Missions, raised $7.25, 
and has sent in $3.35 more, for total of $10.60 for State Missions. This 
speaks in loud notes of approval for this church, one of the weakest in 
the State. Some of the stronger churches should wake up, and see 
what they can do for State Missions. 

Significantly, the Atlantic Christian College "Dollar League" had its be- 
ginning in the State at Tranter's Creek, April 21, 1907. It was to help ma- 
terially in the lifting of the founding debt of the college. Mrs. W. J. Grum- 
pier, resident in Washington, but a Tranter's Creek native, encouraged by 
the local pastor, Warren A. Davis, launched it, reportedly, as follows: 

She took the floor and presented to her old friends and neighbors and 
to the young people of the congregation the claims of Atlantic Christian 
College upon the brotherhood of the State. She pointed out its value to 
Disciple youth who desired an education. To let it suffer would 
throw back the hands on the dial. She organized the young people into 
a Dollar League; 22 signed an agreement to raise $1 each for the College. 
The promises were left with Misses Latham and Alligood, earnest local 
workers, for continuation and realization. 

In December, 1929, the church had "a fund well started," for a new brick 
building. Their century-old plant was inadequate. More than half of their 
church school had to meet outside of the building. Mrs. W. P. Dickinson, 
(nee Miss Jarvis of Hyde County), was their inspiring church school super- 
intendent. She reported in January, 1935: "Our people are becoming more 
missionary and thus express a desire to give more to missions." Early that 
year the new brick plant was opened. It had a sizeable auditorium, 8 church 
school rooms, a social hall, and a balcony. The enrollment of 85 was in 6 
groups departmentalized. Mrs. Dickinson led the Senior C. E., of 30 mem- 

( 92 ) 

bers and was a district leader in the brotherhood-related woman's missionary 

Their revival, August 15-24, 1938, was held by J. Alger Lollis with 15 addi- 
tions. In 1941 they raised and expended $1,000 for new pews and carpet. 
Toward rebuilding the recently burned Rountree church plant they con- 
tributed $11. 

Membership at Tranter's Creek is reportedly 75. 

Roll of Ministers at Tranters Creek. 

1881-1888 Augustus Latham, Jr. 1920 J. W. Lollis 

1889 Stanley Ayers 1921 F. F. Grim 

1891 D. W. Davis 1924, 1925 W. L. Straub 

1907.._ W. A. Davis 1927, 1927 L. T. Holliday 

1909 J. J. "Walker 1928, 1929 R. L. Topping 

1911- Thomas Green 1930, 1931 W. J. B. Burrus 

1914-1918 J. R. Tingle 1932 W. I. Bennett 

1919, 1922, 1923 W. O. Winfield 1933-1950.- .Dennis Warren Davis 


It is in the peat-laden delta of the Pungo, near Pantego, in northeastern 
Beaufort County. Disciples beginning there in 1855 called the church, Head 
of Pungo. The name Union Grove was given it 46 years later in 1901. With 
17 members it was enrolled by the Annual Conference of the State's Disciples 
on October 20, 1855; a relevant note in the Minutes said: "New church ad- 
mitted this Conference." They sent 50 cents to help the publishing fund. 
Their delegates at annual State Conventions were: A. J. Battle, Daniel 
Allen, D. H. Adams, G. H. F. Davis, J. S. Henderson, John W. Davis, J. H. 
Adams, M. M. Padgett. Their first clerks: Daniel Allen, (1878) ; J. H. Adams, 
(1887). Their first church school, 1890, enrolled 43, including 3 teachers; 
J. H. Adams, superintendent; M. M. Padgett, secretary. In 1897, A. B. Cooper 
was superintendent, enrolling 68. Their church property valuation in 1901 
was $300; in 1930, $1,000. 

Evangelist A. J. Battle held a revival at Head of Pungo on July 17-23, 1855, 
resulting in 9 baptisms. There were 4 Disciples already there. Battle said 
that these 13, on July 23, 1855, were "constituted into a church of the Dis- 
ciples of Christ." Assisting him at the organization were three other preach- 
ers: Seth H. Tyson, John F. Mallett, and Samuel L. Davis. On a return 
visit in 1856, Battle came by "the turnpike road leading to the Dismal, eight 
miles to Head of Pungo." He unhitched his horse from his sulky, "borrowed 
a saddle from Mr. John Darden, but led my horse with great care over a soft 
spongy road to keep from being mired down. My visit to the young church 
here was received with hearty welcome, and I preached for the confirmation 
of the brethren." 

Secretary H. C. Bowen visited the field in the interest of State Missions 
in the spring of 1891. He reported: "Our meeting at Head of Pungo was an 
excellent one. The people sang well, heard gladly, and gave cheerfully. They 
pledged more for State Missions than the Board had asked them to give; 
Mt. Olive in Hyde did likewise." 

As the century turned, a new plant was needed. Their old building was 
given to the Primitive Baptists. J. H. Adams, local correspondent, reported 
on November 30, 1900: "We are building a house of worship. We have the 

( 93 ) 

frame raised and want to get the house shut in by Christinas, it' possible.'' 
A. B. Cooper shortly noted this progress: "We have shingled and weather- 
boarded our church, with cypress and German siding. The framing is of 
cypress heart. The building is 30 X 45 feet with 12 feet pitch and square roof. 
We have money in the treasury to buy windows and doors." 

The Free Will Baptists jointly owned the building with the Disciples, 
which was opened on March 24, 1901, and dedicated on the following April 
28. The first sermon was preached in the new building on March Foreign 
Missions Day by pastor Thomas Green. It is recorded: He "took the first 
collection in the new house and the full apportionment was raised." J. H. 
Adams remarked: "We are very poor but we have put up our house in one 

Warren A. Davis held their revival July 16-26, 1929, with 25 additions; 
Millard G. Darden led the singing. On May 17, 1941, Union Grove "had a 
storm that took our church off the blocks and almost tore it up." For awhile 
other places of worship were used. Then the Disciples bought "the F.W.B. 
share", and completely renovated the house so they could return to it on 
December 21, 1941, "it being a much better house, much better looking than 
ever, and best, of all it is ours." 

There were 41 members added in the calendar year, 1943. Next year they 
planned "to add more rooms to our church so we can do better and more Bible 
School work." In 1945 they completed four new church school rooms, and 
th« church sent $20 to the Atlanta Home. J. H. Adams further reported: 
"Some of our Pungo members have left us — gone to the no-music crowd. We 
are revising our church roll. Our improved equipment will materially help 
our church school. We need the guidance of inspired leaders." 

Membership at Union Grove is reportedly 200. 

Roll of Ministers at Union Grove. 

1855-1880_-. — S. L. Davis 1915 J. M. Perry 

1881 George Joyner 1916-1919; 1931-1942 John R. Smith 

18S2-1898, 1902-1906 D. H. Adams 1921-1930 C. E. Lee 

1899 .. C. L. Davis 1943 R. F. Butler 

1907 J. R. Tingle 1944, 1945 R. L. Topping 

1911-1913 D. F. Tyndall 1949. 1950 Dennis Warren Davis 

1914, 1920 - J. W. Lollis 


This city, (population 9,939 in 1960), was incorporated in 1782, and has 
been the Beaufort County seat since 1785. In 1794, there was a Washington 
in but two other States, Georgia and Kentucky; now it is the name of post- 
offices in 26 states. A gazetteer of the 1790's described it as a port of entry 
on the north side of Tar River, 460 miles from Philadelphia, which contained 
a custom house, a court house, a jail, and about 80 houses. It soon became a 
prosperous trade center. The annual pay of its postmaster, John Kewell 
from 1833 to 1839 indicated a substantial, growing town, in spite of the drain 
of western migration to the newer states. It suffered a loss of the major 
part of its business district once by fire. For weeks before September 20, 
1900, there had been a drought; there was a high wind that day; a blaze 
beginning in Brabble's oyster house got out of control. There was a quarter- 
million dollar loss. The local press said: "Our city has received a blow that 
time will not soon heal." 

( 94 ) 

With 60 members the First Christian Church of Washington was enrolled 
by The North Carolina Christian Missionary Convention on October 24, 1891. 
The church advanced 50 cents for the usual printing of the Minutes; pledged 
$12 for State Missions; increased it to $15, the next year, and to $22.75 in 
1893. Their first clerks: W T . J. Crumpler, (1891); A. S. Kelly, (1894). Their 
first church school, 1892, enrolled 68, including 8 teachers; W. J. Crumpler, 
superintendent, J. J. Whitley, secretary. Their C. E. Society in 1897 enrolled 
160 (largest in the State), Clara Latham, corresponding secretary; "money 
raised," that year by C. E., $297.13. Their C. W. B. M. in 1911 enrolled 20. 
with 6 subscribers to Missionary Tidings; contributing that year, $52.40 to 
general and state funds. Their church property valuation in 1901 was $3,500: 
in 1930, $70,000. The Washington church has been host to Disciple State 
Conventions in 1893, 1S96, 1904, 1910, 1928, 1938, 1942, 1949. When F. M. 
Green, of Ohio, national home missionary executive of Disciples, came to 
Washington in the fall of 1883, he reported: "The Disciples have no church 
in Washington yet, though a movement is now on foot which will soon result 
in a congregation." J. L. Winfield, then living there and editing The Watch 
Tower in a very able way was pushing the unorganized Disciples toward estab- 
lishment, to be accelerated later by Augustus Latham, Jr., who located in the 
city and preached for Old Ford and Tranter's Creek, nearby churches. In 
September, 1888, he reported to J. J. Harper that there were 40 Disciples 
there who "should by all means organize without delay." 

They organized formally in 1891, but previously had purchased a lot, 52% 
X 210 feet, at the corner of East Second and Telfair streets, paying $225 for 
it. R. W. Stancill of the State service, took the first building pledges in 
January, 1890, totaling $648.00. The first pastor, Dennis Wrighter Davis, 
located also that year, supported largely by State Missions, and led aggres- 
sively in the erection of the initial frame building. Davis reported in Octo- 
ber, 1891, that it was "in size 40 X 60 feet, but incomplete, as the woodwork 
is nearing completion." Meanwhile the congregation met in a hall. 

On May 1, 1892, the new church was dedicated, the sermon being preached 
by Dr. Henry D. Harper, of Kinston, on the theme, "Reformation." Other 
ministers present and taking part in the program were: Augustus Latham, 
Jr., M. F. Haskett, and J. L. Winfield. Dr. H. D. Harper appealed for funds, 
and raised a total of $500 to care for their debt. J. J. Harper said of their 
new building that it was "well elevated and well-proportioned and beautifully 
and tastefully finished inside and out, giving ample accommodation for a 
large congregation." Further: "The house is well located in view of the 
probable growth of the city, easy of access, and inviting in appearance." 

Their revival, May 10-24, 1896, was held by Dennis Wrighter Davis, with 

13 additions. The preaching of Davis became a notable legend, and was 
characterized by his contemporary, J. J. Harper as follows: "His positions 
are well chosen, plainly and positively stated, and his mass of ready evidence 
swells like a tidal wave and sweeps over the stagnant marshes of error and 
sin with resistless force." In 1897 Washington church ranked second in the 
state in its Foreign Missions offering, $52.85 as compared with New Bern, 
$63.20, and Kinston, $48.51. The next year their initial building debt was 
paid in full, and they "placed a splendid bell in the tower." 

Children's Day for Foreign Missions was observed there on June 2, 1901. 
A helpful promotion for this was the "Dollar League," in which at this time 

14 children qualified by each raising $1 or more. Their names: 

( 95 ) 

Etta Lee Campbell, Mary Smithwick, Elizabeth Kelly, Addie Grant, 
Esther Crumpler, Clara Kelly, Paul Crumpler, R. E. Crumpler, Hinton 
Crumpler, Carl Kelly, Martha Latham, Mary L. Crumpler, Lulu Crumpler, 
Eddie Wilkinson. 

After this jubilant observance generally had all but disappeared, Wash- 
ington still had Children's Day for brotherhood missions. On June 8, 1952. 
they had it, and their offering in keeping with modern times was $253.45. 

The Washington church officers in 1902, were: elders: T. W. Phillips, A. G. 
Wilkinson, J. B. Latham; deacons: W. D. Woolard, G. W. Lewis, W. J. 
Crumpler, W. E. Stubbs, N. R. Robinson, A. B. Whitley. A. B. Cunningham 
began a pastorate there on September 10, 1905. He said: "Preachers looking 
for work can find it in plenty in this State, and their work will be appre- 
ciated by the earnest, kind-hearted people of North Carolina." 

Some twenty-five years after the opening of the first building the congre- 
gation bought a large corner lot at Academy and Second Streets, diagonally 
across from their first property. On the upper part of this a parsonage was 
built, and in the spring of 1921 the first spadeful of dirt was removed on the 
new site for an adequate church building. It is of gray brick, with gray 
limestone trimmings, with roof of slate and columns of stone, with total cost 
approximating $75,000.00. This was dedicated on December 5, 1926, with 
George L. Snively master of ceremonies. The sum of $43,000.00 was assem- 
bled in pledges to care for the debt. Serving as building committee were: 
H. G. Winfield, J. P. Jackson, J. B. Respess, R. S. Silverthorne, and E. Leon 

The church school reached attendance of 317 in September, 1923, Heber G. 
Winfield, superintendent. On September 1, 1935, Sam F. Freeman, Jr. was 
ordained to the ministry; the ministers officiating were: Richard Bagby, 
John M. Waters, Warren A. Davis, and F. A. Lilley. Pastor Richard Bagby, 
(1867-1948) retired on December 1, 1937, after a ministry there of nearly 19 
years. The congregation then presented a "love offering" of $200 to the 
Bagbys. A local paper said: "He has built one of the strongest congrega- 
tions in this section of the State; their church building is one of the hand- 
somest in eastern North Carolina; as long as his heart beats he will always 
be the same kind counsellor, friend, and spiritual advisor that he has been 
through the years." 

On October 2, 1938, a unique service in their church school honored the 
21 Disciples present who had each been in the Christian Church 50 years or 
more. Officers in their Woman's Council, (C.W.F. ) in January, 1941, were: 
president, Mrs. R. N. Cooper; vice president, Mrs. R. V. Hope; secretary, 
Mrs. J. H. Martin, Jr.; treasurer, Mrs. George Taylor; missionay chairman, 
Mrs. E. L. Roebuck; World Call secretary, Mrs. E. T. Harris. The Golden 
Anniversary of the church was observed on November 16, 1941. The large 
building debt of 1926-1941, had been paid in full, and $1993 had been given 
that year for missions and benevolence. The church then had 6 elders, 26 
deacons, and 5 deaconesses. 

Their ad interim pastor, R. H. Crossfield, held their Easter revival in 1943, 
with 57 additions. Their church school in recent years has been blessed 
with successful directors of religious education, namely, Berta Jane Hender- 
son, Mildred Robertson, Wilbur Ballenger, and Goodwin Moore. On May 21, 
1944, the church decided to conduct a kindergarten to be directed by Etta 
Nunn, and assisted by Pauline Walker, and Miss Henderson. This opened 
October 2, 1944, enrolling 43, ages, 4 to 6. 

( 96 ) 

Early in 1951 the church gave a new car to pastor M. Elmore Turner. Next 
year the annual church budget was $22,310, and in addition it accepted the 
goal of $1500 for liquidation of the building debt at Atlantic Christian College. 
Plans were adopted to construct a new parsonage at 1038 N. Market Street 
to cost not more than $33,554. This was dedicated on October 11, 1953. 

Their C. M. F. was reorganized on February 3, 1954, with officers: presi- 
dent, Fred Adair, vice presidents, Sam Wilson and Philip Paul, secretary- 
treasurer, Milton Coyle. President Travis White held their revival, October 
3-8, 1954, with 11 additions. Their church organ was rebuilt and dedicated 
anew on Palm Sunday, 1955. Their parish weekly, First Christian Neivs, 
was launched in May of that year. 

April 8, 1956 was observed as "Etta Nunn Day". Miss Nunn had presented 
the local C.W.F. with an antique silver tea service. The day celebrater her 
notable life. Because of her special interest in Christmount, her friends pre- 
sented to the Christmount Chapel "a gift of pulpit furniture." Washington 
church in gifts exceeded accepted goals for both Camp Caroline and The 
Crusade For A Christian World; total for the former, $3,694.29, to June 30, 
1954; and for the Crusade, 1947-1951, $21,051.25. 

In April, 1959, plans were projected for the Bagby-Nunn educational wing 
to the church school building. And in the following July, "architects pre- 
sented preliminary drawings for the addition and renovation of our church." 
The final considerations for this comprehensive construction were presented 
to their administrative board in March, 1960. In December, 1960, the re- 
ported cash in their "Educational Building Fund" was $87,317.69. 

Membership at Washington is reportedly 1142. 

Roll of Ministers at Washington. 

1889, 1890 Augustus Latham, Jr. 1938-1942 H. L. Tyer 

1901-1903 Merritt Owen 1943, 1944 G. Curtis Jones 

1905-1908 A. B. Cunningham 1945-1952 M. Elmore Turner 

1909-1915 R. V. Hope 1953-1960 R. L. Alexander 

1916-1918 C. M. McEntyre 1961 Rhodes Thompson 

1919-1937 Richard Bagby 


Near Pungo Lake at the extreme southern border of Washington County 
is Wenona, (population, 50). It is in the new black-land development, in the 
center of the Albemarle corn belt which was only a short time ago a great 
swamp. "Here is a great opportunity" said State Missions pastor, R. A. 
Phillips, "to grow out of this miniature, racial, geographical, and religious 
melting pot a great church." With 30 members Wenona Christian Church 
was enrolled by The North Carolina Christian Missionary Convention on 
November 9, 1921. Their first clerk was Mrs. W. A. Kerney, (1921), in which 
year they raised $263.31 for local purposes. In 1926 they gave $2.50 to State 
Missions; increased to $4 in 1927, and to $10 in 1928. To the United Chris- 
tian Missionary Society they gave $2.50, in 1929. Their first church school, 
1923, enrolled 75, Richard Heyman, superintendent. 

State Missions helped to sustain their ministry, 1926-1930. Pastor G. H. 
Sullivan in October, 1928, said: "We are delighted with the Wenona people. 
The most of the folk here are from the middle western states and have set- 
tled as pioneers in this great corn country. They are an industrious and 

( 97 ) 

progressive people, ready to support anything which makes for the common 
welfare of all". 

Membership at Wenona is reportedly 80. 
Roll of Ministers at Wenona. 

1922, 1923 George A. Moore 1931, 1932 D. W. Arnold 

1924, 1933 John R. Smith 1934, 1935 R. O. Respess 

1925, 1926 J. R. Tingle 1944 R. L. Topping 

1927. 1928 ... G. H. Sullivan 1947, 1948-. H. F. Speight, Jr. 

1929, 1930 R. A. Phillips 


The first clearing of the "Jack's Neck" of the 1880's was where West Bel- 
haven is to-day. This is a mile west of the present Belhaven, and at the 
eastern junction of State 92 with Federal 264. In 1909, H. C. Bowen, pastor 
at east Belhaven, fathered the church on the west side, which with 110 mem- 
bers was enrolled by The North Carolina Christian Missionary Convention 
on November 19, 1909. Their first clerks: G. L. Wilkinson, (1909); W. W. 
Gibbs, (1910); Louise Swindell, (1939). In 1911 the church gave $5 to State 
Missions, and contributed 50 cents "special" to the C.W.B.M. Their first 
church school, 1911, enrolled 50; J. K. Voliva, superintendent; contributions 
for the year, $12. Their church property valuation in 1911, was $1500; in 

1930, $2500. 

The mother church of West Belhaven, was New Hope, having a small frame 
chapel in the same locality. Its founder was H. S. Davenport, the Disciples' 
"Pilgrim of Tidewater Trails." He enrolled it with the State Convention 
on October 23, 1887, with 20 members. It remained on the roll until 1900, 
when its remaining constituents joined with the First Christian Church of 
Belhaven or later with the West Belhaven group. First clerks at New Hope 
were: J. S. Williamson, (1887); Moses Herrington, (1890). New Hope's 
first church school, 1890, enrolled 31, including 4 teachers; J. H. Ratcliff, 
superintendent; M. J. Sawyer, secretary. 

On December 24, 1908, H. C. Bowen reported: "By the payment of a small 
amount of cash we have secured a fee simple deed for the West Belhaven 
church lot and have taken the title in the name of The North Carolina Chris- 
tian Missionary Convention. This we think is much better than a deed with 
a reverting clause in it." Reporting building progress there in April, 1909, 
Bowen said: "The steeple is finished, roof completed, floors laid, and win- 
dows and doors in place." The plant was occupied for worship and the 
church school on Easter Sunday, 1909. 

On October 31, 1909, the new church was dedicated, Jesse C. Caldwell 
preaching the sermon. About the dedication pastor Bowen said: "We started 
out to raise $350 and secured in cash and pledges, $561.90. This will enable 
us to go forward successfully and make some further improvements on our 
new house." Bowen followed this dedication by leading their revival enroll- 
ing 52 charter members, 18 of whom transferred from the First Church, a 
mile east. A further report from Bowen: "West Belhaven has puchased a 
new organ. The music is much improved. We hope to be able to secure a 
$500 loan soon from Church Extension." The loan was executed, making safe 
the $1500 investment. The pastor said: "West Belhaven is grateful for this 

( 98 ) 

E. J. Harris held their summer revival in 1925 with 22 additions. Encour- 
aged by James D. Taylor, Raleigh layman, G. C. Bland held their spring 
revival in 1938. Taylor was "emphasizing the value of cooperation in State- 
wide cooperative service." In 1939, pastor E. H. Eppling of the First Church, 
and four of the laymen there: F. L. Voliva, J. E. Gaylord, H. F. Noble, and 
J. T. McKeel, provided spiritual leadership for West Belhaven. On June 
12-21, that year, Eppling held the West Belhaven revival, concluding his 
report with the sentiment: "The church seems to be revived, and is looking 
forward to a great work." 

Membership at West Belhaven is reportedly 110. 

Roll of Ministers at West Belhaven. 

1909, 1910 H. C. Bowen 1927-1933 W. J. B. Burrus 

1911 T. Yarborough 1933, 1934 Roe L. Harris 

1912, 1913 J. D. Waters 1935, 1936 Malcolm Penney 

1914, 1915 J. A. Taylor 1938 G. C. Bland 

1916 George A. Moore 1939, 1940. _E. H. Eppling 

1919 H. H. Ambrose 1942, 1943 Z. N. Deshields 

1920, 1921 S. W. Sumrell 1945, 1946, 1948...- R. L. Topping 

1923, 1924 J. A. Mizell 1947 H. F. Speight, Jr. 

1925, 1926 E. J. Harris 


In a favored location on the south side of the Roanoke, the county seat of 
Martin County was incorporated in 1779. Williamston's population in 1810 
was 300; in 1880, 515; in 1960, 6,924. The city's original site was the 78-acre 
tract of Thomas Hunter adjoining the landing wharf at the River. The place 
in 1779 was "known by the name of Squahawky." It was "a healthy, pleasant 
situation and very conveniently situated for trade and commerce", and would 
"greatly promote the trade and navigation of the said river." Commissioners 
at the start for "designing, building and carrying on the said town," were: 
Samuel Williams, Thomas Hunter, Samuel Smithwick, William Slade, Ed- 
ward Smithwick, John Griffin. Buyers of lots at $112 each, (equivalent of 
40 pounds) were to "erect, build and finish" within five years, "one well- 
framed or brick house 14 feet square at the least and 10 feet pitch in the clear, 
or proportionable to such dimensions", or suffer reversion respectively to the 
commissioners, unless tantamount improvements by the respective owner 
were sufficient to offset the housing indenture. Thus throughout, its 182 years, 
Martin's metropolis has been keyed to expansion. The foxed pages of an old 
gazetteer said it contained "but few houses" in 1794. After the great sec- 
tional strife, it had in 1867, 8 stores, an academy, 3 doctors, and 7 resident 

Disciples had been active in the county nearly 60 years before their perma- 
nent mission opened in Williamston. However with 15 members their church 
was enrolled by The North Carolina Christian Missionary Convention on 
October 26, 1890. In that year they raised $300 for local work, gave $2 to help 
print the Convention Minutes, and contributed $2 to brotherhood-related 
missions; increasing the missionary giving to $17 the next year. Their first 
clerks were: W. H. Wilson, (1890); J. W. Perkins, (1897). Their first 
church school, 1890, enrolled 35, including 5 teachers; W. H. Wilson, super- 
intendent; A. Anderson, secretary; offering for the year, $3.68. Its church 
property valuation in 1897 was $800; in 1930, $3500. 

( 99 ) 

The first preaching of record by a Disciple evangelist in Williamston was 
that of Virgil A. Wilson in 1877 and the following year. In religion the place 
was old and conservative. There was sectarian opposition to the reforming 
Christian ideals of this virile crusader. He said: "I had to preach in the 

In the summer of 1889, the State Missionary Service sent Henry C. Bowen 
to live in Williamston and establish the church there. In July, he said: 
"There are twelve Disciples in and near Williamston, including myself and 
wife. We have a lot paid for. After studying the location of the town care- 
fully, I conclude that the lot is favorably situated. Robersonville and Mace- 
donia churches have promised to furnish the lumber for the house. We have 
about $65 in money and need enough more to complete the house." Again, 
in January, 1890, Bowen reported: "We began with about 18„000 feet of 
lumber and $60. We have worked from two to five hands for five weeks, and 
have $40 now. If you would build, you must have faith and begin." 

The building was a year in construction. Carpenter's work began on it 
November 25, 1889, and was concluded on November 25, 1890. It was used 
first for services on May 4, 1890, "but", as pastor Bowen stated, "we are still 
without a bell and other means necessary to best results." To conserve the 
life of the young church B. H. Melton held the Williamston revival in 1897 
with 33 additions. He led them wisely in securing J. J. Harper for their 
pastor. J. R. Tingle was in a second pastorate there in February, 1901, when 
he said: 

Williamston Disciples have been without preaching for nearly two 
years and the membership has become somewhat scattered and cold. 
However one encouraging feature is that the congregations are composed 
mostly of young people who are not members of any church. This affords 
available material for work. 

L. T. Rightsell, state secretary in 1904, sent evangelist G. A. Reynolds 
there to hold an 11-days' revival. Rightsell's account: "He had a fine hearing 
the whole of the time. A new organization was effected numbering 24; $27.25 
was raised for State Work. Many of the brotherhood who considered Wil- 
liamston a hopeless point are surprised and gratified." 

H. C. Bowen visited in 1906 and found "the County Superintendent of Edu- 
cation, Register of Deeds, and other prominent Disciples and friends," in 
the growing fellowship. Coming again in 1910 to lead a revival, he reported: 

W. C. Manning has become one of the most capable and successful 
business men of Williamston and Martin County. Although he gives 
strict attention to business he never missed a service during the series 
of meetings. Having organized the church and assisted in building the 
house about twenty years ago it was my peculiar pleasure to meet the 
friends of former years. While the membership is still small it repre- 
sents much wealth, talent, and influence. Bro. W. C. Manning is a capa- 
blue superintendent of the Bible School. Bro. Peel has been county 
superintendent of public schools for several years. Bro. C. A. Baker is 
a very loyal young man and capable worker. Marshall Wilson is a pros- 
perous farmer. He and his family are true to the church which the 
father, W. H. Wilson helped to establish and support. The Hadleys have 
prospered and are loyal. Bro. Price makes a good clerk of the church. 
Sister Dunning is a valuable recruit from Robersonville. 

Pastor J. R. Tingle had a glowing report in February, 1907, as follows: 
"We have a fine Sunday School. It now numbers 80 and is still increasing. 
We are raising money to buy song books and paint the church. Mrs. Tingle 


has organized a Mission Band with 30 children. Everything is going well." 
Field secretary Etta Nunn visited them, and reported: "On February 7, 1912, 
an Auxiliary of 10 members was organized in Williamston; officers: presi- 
dent, Mrs. A. R. Dunning; vice president, Mrs. T. F. Harrison; secretary, 
Mrs. Theo. Roberson; treasurer, Mrs. J. W. Anderson." 

From 1916 to 1927 there was steady progress led by their beloved pastor, 
Asa J. Manning, who was memorialized with a beautiful design at the front 
of their initial frame building. In 1921, J. J. Taylor held their revival, 
adding 25, greatly strengthening the church. In 1932, pastor J. M. Perry 
added 24 in a revival and was an effective shepherd to the flock during the 
depression. On September 10, 1933, encouraged by their women who had 
raised a considerable amount for that purpose, they decided to remodel their 
building at expense of $2500. Leland Cook, Kinston pastor, led their revival, 
1935, during which the Men's Class, Elbert S. Peel, teacher, reached an at- 
tendance of 142, on June 30. 

Their first parsonage was erected on Marshall Ave., and occupied first by 
the John L. Goffs in June, 1937. It cost $4500, was on a lot 56 X 96, and the 
dwelling was 32 X 40. Officers of their woman's Council, (C.W.F.), organized 
June 20, 1938, were: president, Mrs. James C. Manning; vice-president, Mrs. 
J. G. Corey; recording secretary, Mrs. H. D. Harrison; corresponding secre- 
tary, Mrs. A. R. Dunning; treasurer, Mrs. J. O. Manning. A Moeller pipe 
organ was installed in the summer of 1941. Next year the lot in the rear of 
their plant was bought by the church. A gift of pulpit furniture by Mrs. 
Thad F. Harrison in 1946 memorialized her husband. 

Con M. Gordon of Norfolk, Va. held their revival in November, 1947, with 
21 additions. Under pastor Goff their "steady growth was putting pressure 
on their building plans." For their new "$200,000 edifice," the lot was brought 
for $12,800, located at Smithwick and East Liberty Streets. It is 300 feet 
square, and is in the northern wooded sector of the city, in an exclusive 
residential section, near the High School. The building is 114.6 feet long 
and 86 feet wide; the consulting architect was Charles J. Betts of the Church 
Extension staff. It has three floors walled with concrete blocks and faced 
with brick. On its elevated landscaped site it is an imposing structure. 

Its cornerstone laying was in July, 1953, and the debt-free dedication was 
on July 11 of the following year. J. Warren Hastings, of the National City 
Christian Church was the guest speaker. Their church budget for 1955 in- 
cluded $1,000 for Atlantic Christian College; $500 for the "Program of Ad- 
vance;" $325 for State Missions; and $100 for Camp Caroline. 

Their new parsonage at the new church site was completed in the fall of 
1956, and occupied first by the Howard H. Groovers. In 1958 air conditioning 
was installed in the church. Their church budget for 1961 is $20,920, a 
"growing portion" of which is designated for "outreach in Unified Promotion 
and Benevolence, representing one dollar out of every four contributed thus 
devoted to brotherhood agencies." 

Membership at Williamston is reportedly 413. 

Roll of Ministers at Williamston. 

1889, 1890 H. C. Bowen 1916-1927.... A. J. Manning 

1906, 1907 J. R. Tingle 1928 J. H. Hale 

1909 ._ C. F. Outlaw 1929-1931 F. W. Wiegmann 

1910, 1912, 1913, 1915 J. C. Caldwell 1932-1936 J. M. Perry 

1911 H. H. Settle 1937-1956 J. L. Goff 

1914 G. H. Fern 1957-1961 H. H. Groover 



Seven miles east of Plymouth, on Federal 64, is Zion's Chapel. It is near 
Roper, a village incorporated in 1907, (population, 771, in 1960). The church 
was enrolled by The North Carolina Christian Missionary Convention on 
October 12, 1872. Delegates representing it in annual State Conventions 
were: William T. Craddick, D. Rogerson, W. N. Davis, W. S. Ambrose, David 
Robertson, Butler Brickhouse. Their first clerks: J. D. Ambrose, (1877): 
Willie Roberson, (1889); B. B. Spencer, (1892). Fruitful evangelism swelled 
its membership to 53 by 1874, when their two State Convention delegate? 
brought $1.50 to help pay for that year's Minutes. In 1896 they gave $15.52 to 
State and Foreign Missions; which was increased the next year to $26.60, 
in the pastorate of J. Boyd Jones. Their first church school of detailed record, 
1898, enrolled 34, W. L. Roberson, superintendent; "money raised" during the 
year, $2.14. Their church property valuation in 1901 was $1,000; in 1930, 

The church was new on August 1-8, 1875, when William M. Davis of Ply- 
mouth, held their revival with 14 baptisms. William T. Craddick reported 
it in The American Christian Review, and remarked: "It is the happiest 
moment of my life to stand by the water's edge and see my fellow-beings 
buried in baptism to rise and walk in newness of life." A visitor there on 
July 8, 1883, reported: "I found the little flock assembled in Lord's Day 
school. Bro. Eli Leggett the efficient superintendent informed me that about 
40 were enrolled, but they were sadly in need of books." 

Editor J. F. Coss of The Watch Tower was there on "preaching Sunday", 
May 14, 1899, and commented: "Zion's Chapel is a very nice church, every 
way. The house is large and airy, and well located, and the people are intelli- 
gent, kind, and prosperous. The outlook is very promising. It was State 
Missions Day, and while the offering was not large, it is quite certain that 
they will reach their apportionment, $25, during the year. Our visit was not 
only profitable but extremely pleasant." Joseph D. Waters said that during 
the two-years' pastorate of J. Boyd Jones at Zion's Chapel, "there were more 
than 75 additions to the church, and it became one of the leading missionary 
churches in the district." 

The pastor there for several years, a "wise and beloved leader," was Peter 
Stephen Swain, (1862-1906). It was said of him: "He has been the life of 
the Roanoke Union for a long time; he is growing gray and bald in the 
service." For his valedictory at Zion's Chapel, in August, 1902, he declared: 
"It is a good church to preach for. We have met all of our missionary obli- 
gations, and will be able to close the year with all expenses paid and in good 
condition to begin the new year." He delighted to report that their Children's 
Day offering for Foreign Missions that year was $12.50; Maggie Davis, super- 

On March 24, 1929, District Secretary Mrs. Jane L. Randolph, of Washing- 
ton, assisted by Mrs. E. L. Roebuck, and Mrs. R. J. Johnson, also of that city, 
met with a group at Zion's Chapel and organized a Woman's Missionary 
Society of 10 members. Their officers: president, Mrs. H. J. Chesson; vice 
president, Mrs. L. A. Parrisher; secretary, Mrs. E. M. Chesson; treasurer, 
Mrs. Pearl Chesson; World Call secretary, Mrs. B. M. Snell. Other members 
of this new society: Mesdames: Octavia Davis, Edith Gardner, B. B. Spencer, 
T. C. Tarkenton. It was said: "This group will serve to promote a missionary 
spirit helpful to the church." 


Membership at Zion's Chapel is reportedly 200. 
Roll of Ministers at Zion's Chapel. 

1S82. 1883 H. S. Gurganus 1919 W. H. Marler 

18S8 W. M. Davis 1920, 1921 _„_J. R. Tingle 

1890-1904 P. S. Swain 1922-1931 Warren A. Davis 

18S9, 1909 Dennis Wrighter Davis 1933, 1934 Malcolm Penney 

1911-1913 W. O. Winfield 1935-1940 M. L. Ambrose 

1914 L. C. Carawan 1941 J. B. Respess 

1915 J. C. Coggins 1942 Dennis Warren Davis 

1917, 1918 ___C. W. Riggs 1943-1946 D. W. Arnold 


A History of Disciples of Christ in North Carolina 

Barton Warren Stone — Pathfinder of Christian Union. 

Tar Heel Disciples, 1841-1852. 

Christian's Reveille, (Play). 

A History of Atlantic Christian College — Culture in Coastal Carolina. 

Kentucky's Fox Creek — Vignettes of the Village Church and 
of the R. H. Crossfield Heritage. 

Onslow's Oldest Church. 

Mill Creek Story. 

Hookerton History. 

Pamlico Profile. 

Albemarle Annals. 


Price per copy of this Booklet: paper, $1.00; cloth, (limited), $2.0O. 
Order from C. C. Ware, Box 1104, Wilson, N. C. 


darnltna iiaripliatta Htbrarg 














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